Sunday, December 31, 2006

Part 30 – ‘Based’ on a True Story

So I had headed home, with only the knowledge that the forces of this warlord Bob had slain even the mighty Steve. I thought long and hard as I drove this pathetic new Ares I had been so unfortunately stuck with. And with no guidance on what kind of a larger vehicle I should take, perhaps I would soon die out here in wretched 0.0.

I went to random driving, waiting for the next passerby to come out and destroy my pitiful car. My spirits were in the pits. Perhaps my DISCORD alliance would fall before it became strong enough to defeat the madness of Empire, or discover such secrets to life such as how indeed our bodies got to the hospital in time before death, or where those damned post-it-note popups came from.

As I drove from intersection to intersection, block to block aimlessly I suddenly came across the oddest thing. It was a POS, but the gate was left wide open! There was no password there at all! There was the tower still powered with lights running, and a Corporate Garage Array locked next to me. Parked besides it was the ugliest tank I’ve ever seen, one of those Matari Typhoons. I wasn’t impressed by such wrecks before, but it certainly had to have been better than my Ares. I bailed out of my little car, brushing aside a post-it note about ‘your car may explode if you bail’, and ran for that new ‘Phoon.

A guard poked his head out and saw me suddenly, strapping into that Phoon. He gasped in shock, trying to level his weapon upon me… but as we were both still within the POS walls, he was strangely unable to shoot, or even consider holding an aim on me! How convenient that was.

As the ‘Phoon started up, I immediately sensed something odd about it. While she was no looker and often the most confused vehicle on the road, something was most certainly unique of this one. Perhaps it was the ‘Low Grade Snake’ rims, or the ‘Domination 100MN Rear spoiler’, but this one seemed… unorthodox. The all-nanofiber interior certainly made things different. How different became immensely clear the moment I even thought about touching the gas pedal, and crashed through the POS wall at the better part of two hundred miles per hour.

Tingles ran up my spine. Perhaps it was excitement. Perhaps it was relief. All the more probably, it was the acceleration forcing my brain out my ears as the Phoon continued to accelerate, moving faster than any battletank should, or most small jet aircraft. This was everything I had wanted. She was fast, able to take hardship, hard hitting as well as nigh unkillable short of a small army set out to hunt it. It was exactly the kind of vehicle that ignored all sense of decency for the sake of making other people miserable.

Speeding off for the home station, the pieces of a real plan for the endgame started to fall together. Now that surely my followers had renamed our station, I would need to learn from the strategy of the well known ‘Thugswarm’ gang that was well known.

I would need to find an enemy, and throw waves and waves of my own men at them until they gave up from frustration.

Bob as they call him, would need to be first.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Part 29 – Probed Down!

The Ares was fast, and that’s probably the best I could say for it. She apparently was a confused vehicle, not sure of what she was good for. There was nice handling turning left only, and a good bonus to headlight range… yet, it felt incredibly mediocre compared to the nice Taranis down the parking garage.

I turned to look for the vendor, but he had already bolted off with my money, and any more leads to the infamous Titan known as Steve. Hmm. Looking at my vehicle’s features, I noticed an interesting new addition. Something called a ‘Probe Launcher’, a most curious device that threw hooks out to snag upon those damned people who fell asleep at the wheel and swerved off road to a safe spot. From there, I could just follow the line to where they were. I didn’t get why such an elaborate contraption was needed either, but many seemed to swear by such a thing instead of just driving up to a target.

Driving took some time, and I spoke to everyone my localsenses felt were nearby. Somehow, this would nearly always trigger a hostile response with a terrible war cry shouted as they set upon me. ‘N-B-S-I!’ they would cry out, before lunging at me.

There were many brief encounters that turned ugly, but fortunately with my new found ‘drive to zero’ skill, no one could stop me from reaching the highway in each area I passed through.

After a few more hours, there finally was something to do on my search. It was a lone Iteron truck, easily vulnerable to the predations of even my mediocre Ares. He was in a mineral field out here in 0.0, conspicuously made of large rocks obviously full of gold and platinum. It was a good thing few had the guts to try and extract fortunes from these areas. I made sure to confirm their fears by pouncing upon this poor truck.

As I closed in, my guns blazing along with the two headlight mounts on this little compact, he began to drive off in a random direction. No doubt it was to one of those ‘safe spots’. But I had no worry. I would track him down and made sure to use my probes in the process. I waited annoyed for three minutes and rested back. Yes, soon this hauler would be in my grasp, and my boredom would be satisfied with blood.

I followed the line hungrily before pausing. My brow furrowed. He had escaped! Somehow, that truck had vanished out into thin air after safespotting! I didn’t sense him at all on my localsenses and growled angrily. At least before my eyes gazed upon something else.

It was the burning hulk of a gigantic vehicle, a train car that shaped like it would be some kind of Mushroom God. I gawked at the burning carcass and knew I had found what I was looking for. And I realized I never would speak to the driver about what kind of large car I wanted.

Sighing, I knew I had one last thing to do for this deceased titan, a victim of Robert's Wrath...

I was going to salvage it for parts. Perhaps in the hulk of this miles long vehicle I could build a small trinket or ‘rig’ for my car. I began to dig.

Hours later, I had my bounty of twelve fried circuits, a bottle of rancid oil and one whole aluminum bar. This was immensely disappointing.

I stormed off, looking for someone to grief.

(to be continued)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Part 28 – Homicide: Life in Paragon Soul

Driving off with my Crow, I began a long journey after the great and fabled Steve, hoping to find that towering behemoth. Perhaps he would give me enough advice to choose a large craft of my own wisely. I drove well with two road maps already spread open. Reading while I drove (a perfectly safe activity), I planned to visit both Esoteria and Paragon Soul to find this great titan.

Listening to the sounds of my troops trying again to reclaim ownership of the rest stop, I knew they would do just fine. It was an easy task, and someone surely would be giving coherent orders over teamspeak. Surely.

I grew nervous and wondered if I’d see any of them again, or more importantly, my assets left in that station. Still, I had to swallow my fears and continue if I was to emerge victorious over 0.0. Esoteria would be the first stop, and I would hail those frontiersmen making their home here. Last I checked, they were a pacifist bunch, so called ‘carebears’ who would surely welcome me in open arms, and showers of gifts for a traveling guest. I drove down the offramp into the Esoteria region.

Apparently, my ASPN greeting was what the locals called a Scourge Heavy Missile.

Exploding along the ground in front of me, I spun out of control and found myself stuck in a small ditch as more of these ‘carebears’ advanced. Discretion is the better part of valour, so I bravely bailed out of that poor, beloved Crow and made a run for it on foot as the rest of those oh-so-caring people came after me, intending to ‘pod’ me.

It would seem this term of ‘podding’ meant something more like ‘killing you, then chopping each piece that survives into something about the size of a pea pod’. Such an experience did not really fit me, so I continued to run until at last, a station came into sight.

I ducked inside, and the homicidal rampcamp gave up, leaving me to my devices. But now, I was stuck in potentially hostile territory, seeking the great ‘Steve’ and without a single vehicle. I sighed.

A local however, greeted me. “Hey. You don’t have anything to drive?” he asked. He was a rather effeminate angry looking man, probably from the Amarrian District of town. Those were bad neighborhoods, where gangs walked around with their huge guns, and everyone wore huge slabs of bling on their cars.

I responded quietly. “Yeah. ASPN got my Crow.” I admitted, looking aside. He seemed delighted, and began to speak again.

“Then… may I interest you in this brand new, bright red, ’07 Ares? It’s much faster, and has… reputation.” He smiled aggressively. I looked up, and pondered. Yes, this seemed like a reasonable individual. He gave me a speech soon after at how the Ares was the new Shuttle, and how few possessed this magnificent craft. I happily surrendered the contents of my wallet for this amazing wonder-car, eager to see it in the garage.

As I turned however to see my new buy in the garage, he asked something under his breath. “What’reya doin’ out here anyway?”. I responded honestly once more. “I’m looking for Steve. Do you know where I could find him?”

“Steve’s dead.” He said bluntly. I turned and gawked. “Dead? How?!” came my reply, my mouth dropped open.

He shook his head grimly. “Bob shot him.”

My heart sank. Was this a sign that my adventure out here was in itself a great folly? I slumped over, and went to climb into my bright red Ares, moving to turn the key.

I still didn’t know what was worse of the two things I learned in that very minute. Hearing the news that Bob had killed Steve, or seeing how the Ares actually performed.

(to be continued)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Part 27 – Redecorating is a lengthy process.

Day 06

It never struck me that redecorating a station to new ownership would be such an insanely long process, nor one that took such incredible amounts of firepower. I imagined that if a company wanted to give me their place, they’d just sign it over and be mine.

Now I was sitting here, watching as my legions bashed away at the ownership plaque on top of the rest station, which someone decided had to be armored. It was already hours into this new siege of my own property now! What tripe was this?

Fortunately, during a long nap in the driver’s seat of my little Crow, the rest of my forces got her down to the last sliver of plating before I could tear down that sign and place a nice one of my own. Perhaps this little car was inadequate for my new job. I sighed, waiting the last few minutes for that teeny sliver to vanish so my boys could haul up their sign. My mind wandered back to thoughts of a larger, possibly more Freudian vehicle to haul my person about, with perhaps greater amount of butt-kicking? Since heavy tanks were somehow legal in this day and age for private ownership, I should go shopping eventually for a bigger ride.

My daydreams crossed over to think about possibly test driving out the new Rokh. She was a sturdy thing, with four wheel drive and a spacious military-style interior. With the moon roof, I could throw an assortment of rocks a great distance using the extra height, even though I wouldn’t be able to hit a thing close to me, or do anything even vaguely resembling good damage.

So perhaps I could drive the new Hyperion instead, even though it’s wheels were directly in the center all awkwardly, with guns in the front and back only, angled inwards on themselves. Perhaps they could only hit something two feet in front of them or something.

I then thought of going home with an Abbadon, but from what I was told it ran out of fuel the instant one stopped popping fuel into the Gas Injector. Still, at least it was finished, not like that messed up wreck Apocalypse, with gaping holes at random all over it’s structure.

My thoughts wandered to the new Maelstrom for about three seconds, before I shuddered and scolded myself from even considering it. It's not that it performed badly, I'm sure it drove quite well. But given how well it looked new, and how every other Minmatar ship looked... I figured it'd be about as attractive as a broken down Typhoon left for dead on the side of the highway within about a month. No thanks.

I was snapped out of my daydream by something harsh blaring in my ears. Was it shouting? My Teamspeak line was going nuts. I looked around suddenly and grabbed the radio. It took several seconds to the Teamspeak to even get quiet enough for me to talk without annoying feedback and the whining of adult sized children.

“What the hell is going on?” I said, before staring up at the station logo. It was not my beautiful generic (as there were only so many at the logo store) DISCORD logo! It was that of some random yahoo corp, who snuck in the last whack at the old Corporation’s ownership tag, and threw theirs up! Hours were wasted, because of this stupid lapse.

Scowling, I ordered the troops to take it down again while I wandered off to perhaps go seek out someone more knowledgeable about big cars. I would go to the guys driving the biggest things on the road.

I would go meet those Ascendant Pioneers (Ticker: ASPN), and ask for that guy ‘Steve’. I wanted to see his titanic vehicle in person…

(to be continued)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Day 26 – It’s called a Net Loss.

There wasn’t too much to say about what happened. I didn’t even bother jumping in after my compatriots during their fit of overzealous aggression, and waited impatiently at the safe end of the onramp, holding my radio set away from my ears as the teamspeak line filled with screams of anger, whines about unfairness and how things were ‘stacked against them’.

I winced myself, and dropped it, backing away most inconspicuously from the site. This was not an auspicious first operation, but I wondered. We had successfully ganked an Impairtor, so it was at least a moral victory. Someone knew of this now rising 0.0 empire, right? Even if that someone was now a crippled 4 month old kid in a Jita Hospital?

Returning back to the station, I breathed some relief. Perhaps the survivors would come back soon, and would be most sure to lavishly post up their kill on the public killboard, while conveniently forgetting the massive amount of pain inflicted upon them. There were cheers all about, but I still felt something was wrong. Perhaps it was just my imagination, or despite owning the whole area, I had no official claim in paper.

So I began the next phase of my plans to dominate all of this dreaded 0.0, and eventually march upon Jita. It would be a simple operation. We would merely transfer authority of the local POS Towers to my control, thus granting me sovereignty of the area. Then I would scrape off the flakey old stickers of the previous station owner and claim it as my own.

Only then perhaps someone at the Rand McNally Map Company would recognize my greatness, and the status of my little sovereign nation.

So we set out! Low-End haulers drove out in an assortment of vehicles to start dropping off our goods all around the county to show that we owned this area. There was the meager Iteron I, the awkward Badger and the gold-plated doomhauler Bestower. Somehow, by being made of gold and slapped on with crosses and random runic writing, it carried way more than it’s competing haulers, at better speed with more customization. Go figure.

I waited in my little Crow for the word to come soon after that the POS were set up. We would be sovereigns of this station quite soon… Yes, quite soon. Then would be the painless task of hammering off the ‘ownership’ label of the station and replacing it with our own. No doubt it would be a simple and painless task…

(to be continued)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Day 25 – The Art of the Camp

So now it seemed I had assembled at last my legions of terror, a real force able to bring the world to its knees… if I knew how to organize them in the slightest. I looked around at the unruly rabble, with absolutely no goals or direction. It was unfortunate, but a good many of them were quite obviously ‘new’ at this life thing as well, and of only minimal use.

“Let’s go kick ass!” someone called out of the rabble. Another spoke up. “No! Let’s go get richer!”

I murmured and looked across to the mass. I had to lay claim to this area of land as my own, and I would need something to occupy them. I needed a speech.

“Alright!” I started, raising a hand to get the crowd calmed. “We need to claim this rest station as our own… We need to show our neighbors that we’re a force to be reckoned with!” I shouted, so that everyone locally could hear.

“So come! Come join my gang, and… we’ll fight…” I paused. I had to think of some kind of villain, someone this new rabble could focus their hostile attentions against, instead of at my complete lack of leadership ability. “Uh… The Russians! Yes, they’re deceitful and they use dishonorable methods of retreat!” I proclaimed.

Things after that became a bit more interesting. Following a great cheer, I was brought out to meet the lucky volunteers who would accompany me on my mission of aggression, to show that I, a mere nobody in a compact automobile, now possessed this region.

Ushered into my Crow, we drove out in a great line across the highway, stopping at each offramp to check for any possible victims. Things were looking poor, when a member of my party had an idea. An idea I approved of.

We would honorably sit upon an offramp, stretching saran wrap across the opening and setting up camp with weapons and missiles aimed at any unfortunate victim. My gang of twelve waited, and waited. The excitement was incredible. The thrill of camping, combined with the joy of waiting.

…so we were bored out of our minds, really. Until we heard something coming, that is Everyone got ready at my whisper across our ‘teamspeak’ radio. I couldn’t even understand what I was saying through the garbled piece of junk, but I think the gang got the picture. Our target emerged, about to get caught in our trap. I watched him closely.

It was a middle school kid, riding along happily with an Impairtor bicycle. He rang his Civilian Bicycle Bell without a care in the world.

That’s when I drove up and broke his knees in with my ‘Prototype Fleeting Front Bumper’. The bike flew away, where three of my mates waited, smashing at it with baseball bats and small cannons. I drove on, watching contently as the gang took our victim, until he dragged himself off, still wearing an ‘Imperial Academy’ backpack. I didn’t feel bad. He was some private school punk, it seemed.

Still. I felt excited. Perhaps it was the thrill of a victory, or the completely incomprehensible garble on the teamspeak line with voices drowning out other voices by speaking such helpful tidbits like ‘Oh my god’ or ‘did you just see that’, but I felt good nonetheless.

At least, until a *slightly* more challenging foe appeared some minutes later after the excitement passed. Still, it was a mere Exequror, a gaudy ugly light truck, with a digusting dark green coloration. It entered our trap and we waited to ambush it again. It however, stopped and saw us. Backing up, it moved onto the freeway to the next exit, escaping. I tried to calm down my troops despite the escape.

“Do NOT chase after it!” I called into the radio. “Stay here!” I shouted.

Private Jenkins went after it, driving in a cloud of smoke up the onramp. My entire gang followed moments later.

I could only watch in horror how things predictably ended.

(to be continued)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

WTF RL Lag?!

Taking a brief haitus for the next couple of days. I'm in that terrible jump queue that all college students must face: Finals week.

Fly safe, and stay out of Jita, citizens!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Part 24 – …Sports break, anyone?

So there I was. I had barely escaped yet again, with my first attempt to assault a Personally Owned Structure a complete and utter failure. Not only had I escaped by the skin of my teeth, but every last person I had led bravely into combat was either dead, or missing fillings and implants in a far off hospital.

Things looked pretty foul, so I pulled back into the rest station from where this adventure started, stepping in to find a bar. Maybe I’d down a pint or two, and watch TV. Perhaps the stained name of the DISCORD alliance wouldn’t be remembered for long for such a foolhardy action. Entering a pub, I immediately realized that the entire place was stuffed full of people.

I sat down and looked at what everyone was watching. Immediately, I knew. Some barbaric match, where four to eight people would enter an Arena per team, and fight it down to the hideous death! I had heard of it just briefly, and wondered what the rules were besides ‘two teams enter, one team leaves’. Of course, my eyes were glued to the promise of some escapist carnage.

It was the semi-finals, and the forces of some brewery were engaging in a match to the death with some cowboy cultists. I had no idea what was going on, and tuned in just in time to see a diamond and platinum-plated Apocalypse blow up in spectacular glory, to the cheers of everyone in the room. I was flabbergasted. What kind of a weird sport was this? I watched in fascination for several hours, time just flying by.

By the time of the finals, a team of samurai were fighting those ‘Fraternity Unit’ or whatever guys people keep talking about. I tuned in carefully, figuring I had gotten the rules down quite well. Watching, I anticipated an exciting match.

What I got was something completely different. It ends up, the brothers weren’t equipped to merely fight the samurai team… but they were in fact composed entirely of vampires! I watched the terribly one sided, but dull conclusion with a shake of the head as the poor samurai never stood a chance. Sometimes, I just don’t get extreme sports.

I stood up and turned for the door. A sigh escaped my lips before I suddenly realized something terrible. There was a crowd outside, waiting for me, all shouting my name. Was this a lynch mob, ready to avenge the pointless deaths of their comrades? I looked across, awaiting the end. That’s when I actually took the time to read one of their picket signs.

Way to go, Man in a Crow!

What? What the hell was this? I read another.

Let’s Fight on Ascending Pioneers soon!

This was even more bizarre. I gasped.

Get me killed next, please!


It hit me quite hard. Probably harder than all the drinks I had in the bar and the cinderblock that landed on that poor Velator yesterday combined. I rubbed my eyes with complete astonishment. These people were utterly mad.

I had emerged from the utterly futile siege of that tower as some sort of celebrity.

(to be continued)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Part 23 – That’s no moon…

Day 05

Excellent progress was being made on the attack. I sat patiently, hammering away with one hand using my potently wielded crowbar, while the other typed at a calculator. By my preliminary analysis, this cement shield protecting this POS would fall sometimes by next month. It was not looking too good, but at least I knew I was slowly winning this battle.

Already nineteen hours into the grueling siege, morale was falling at our chances of defeating it. A few questioned what they were doing here, while others were just so eager at their first attack on the structure. My force remained at a meager Crow, two Caracals, a Bestower, a Rupture, that Velator and one rather frequently seen riced-up Thorax. I sighed, wishing something would break this terrible monotony.

I should have been more careful of what I wished for.

Walls opened up. Large gears cranked and turrets, brimming with all sorts of weapons seemed to just sprout up from behind the wall and in it, all aiming at my pitiful band. I stared in awe, preparing for my most daring command yet.

“Run away! RUN AWAY!” I cried out. But it was too late. Shells, bombs and missiles flew across the field, smashing clean through both Caracals almost immediately, splitting them into piles of broken steel beams, with those bizarre compressed spring coils they had rebounding far off.

The faster vehicles tried to escape too, before nets began catapulting over the walls. It was awful beyond anything I had ever seen, the poor Velator webbed by the nets to barely over a snail’s pace. It soon was smashed by a heavy five-ton ‘Citadel Cinderblock’ dropped from above.

“Align to the road! What the hell? Why aren’t you all getting out?!” I shouted out the window, turning my car’s wheel… but it wouldn’t respond! Why on earth wouldn’t it respond? It seemed like everything was going in slow motion, and we had no control.

I tried to shift gears to speed up, before a shocking little post-it note caught my eye right on the speedometer, the yellow square spelling a portent of imminent doom.

Post-It Note:

An attempt is already under way to shift into first gear. Please wait.

This wasn’t happening. Already, legions of enemies were disgorging from the gates of the structure. I had to escape somehow. After an eternity of watching my allies get slaughtered, my Crow shifted into gear and began to align to the road, quickly speeding out of the area. I was not out of the woods yet.

I had to make it to the highway onramp somehow, despite the army following me! This would take some… no wait--- All of my cunning to accomplish!

Swerving between my few friendly survivors, I bumped the Bestower off the road, leaving the poor sap to be sacrificed for my greater good. Still, it did not accomplish much to slow them down. I barely made it to the onramp by mere moments, and saw a clear open road before me on the highway.

I was going to make it.

That’s when the light turned red, and my Crow stopped cold right at the ramp.

Traffic Control:

You are currently #24th in Queue for Entry…

…Oh damnit all.

(to be continued)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Part 22 – POS War! Huh! What is it good for?

Driving out into public, I set my mind to the new job. I would destroy somebody’s tower, thus wrecking their Personally Owned Structure, and gaining a whole hundred million for it! What an incredible sum, able to sustain me no doubt indefinitely! I made my intentions clear.

“Citizens of…” I paused, to read the scrap of paper I kept notifying me of where I was. “HG-RM6F Street!” I shouted, not dissuaded by the difficulty of the name. “I am here forming a mighty band! The POS at HG-RM6F, Block 2, must be destroyed! Who is with me?” I cried out, ready to establish a formidable band, under the banner of my one-man corporation.

Silence. More Silence. Then cricket chirps.

“…and who is up for plentiful looting!?” I added.

Before I knew it, I had gathered a small band of young but eager followers. Of course, the quality wasn’t so good. One of them still drove his Dad’s Velator, and another was under the delusion he could be of use shooting a BB Gun out of the window of his ’76 Bestower. Still, it was my first horde. I had to get it to productive use.

Forming up a gang was a bit more of a chore. I had thought just getting a nice rabble together would do at first, but realized my inspiring leadership wouldn’t get through to them, without establishing a lengthy and overly complex organization charts with commanders, sub commanders, and so on.

I drew it up. So I'd be Grand High Marshal, and under me were two Lord Generals, and under them are two Grand Admirals, and... well. We ran out of people, but I had to put up such silly pretenses of rank and order just so they could feel good and buffed by my leadership. The discussion went on for many an hour, before we decided to start for our objective.

After I finished the long explanation to the rest of the men of exactly what dental plans being a Grand Admiral offered, we were finally on our way. Ahead was the block we were headed towards, all kings of the road. Then we saw that tower, ready to be smashed to pieces.

What I also saw was the fifty meter thick concrete wall, ten feet tall, surrounding the tower and protecting the insides of the POS. Still, it was no time for indecision despite such an obstacle. “CHAAAARGE!” I ordered with a mighty roar. There was disarray. A few charged and crashed right into the wall, while others stopped by it and stepped out, starting to bash away with claw hammers. I stepped out of my Crow, and started whacking away with a crowbar. Looking aside, I saw the others doing the same now with assorted weapons. Even the Velator driver was wielding a Civilian Heavy Tableleg against the wall.

Perhaps anticipating my mood, or the plummeting morale of the troops, someone inside the wall turned on some music for us, quite considerately. It was a medieval sounding tune, probably best listened to during a montage.

Ye Olde Tunes:

~~~...And then days… became the weeks… and the weeks became the months, be-came-the years…~~~

(to be continued)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Part 21 – Leadership for dummies

It was some kind of gigantic map, glowing with dozens of colors representing the power blocs in the lawless lands beyond Empire City just up there before me. Small explosion thumbtacks marked the entire south all over, with continuously updated fatality statistics posted every hour. Hideously morbid, I slowly walked back, clutching my heart at the thought that perhaps I had gotten myself in deep.

Still, to get anywhere I would have to carve out my own heart in this desolate place. To somehow form a great alliance capable of toppling whole regimes! I stewed quietly, calming down and looking around at the various murderous types, many of them all to happy to sit on a junction and pick off travelers as they came through, for the capital crime of neutrality.

Many of the strange bands out here had such weird names. There was mention of alcohol conglomerates, crimson coalitions, a renegade medical agency that spread diseases, and buffs of that old vampire movie, From Dusk till Dawn. I knew that my empire needed something catchy and unique, like the names of these groups. I needed something riveting. I needed something that would indeed show how powerful my mighty personal army could be.

My first name was ‘Terrifying Assault Revenant Division’, a name that would surely strike fear into the hearts of my enemies and gather the proper strong-armed thugs I would need to dominate the land. It was a mighty pity that the first shorthand I could name this little alliance didn’t stick too well.

My second name was somewhat more appropriate. And a little more reserved. I would advertise it wisely, placing shipping containers with my words written prominently on them all over the world, so nobody could possibly miss them.

Jettisoned Container:

Join DISCORD, and go make trouble for the establishment! We're a new group dedicated to destroying all that we don't like! Join us, since we're the best, and I'm not littering, honest.

Brilliant. Kids these days loved making trouble for the establishment, and I would surely solicit the vows of loyalty of dedicated, disciplined people with my 'complete honesty' approach to advertisement. I waited for the applications to roll in, sitting in the parking lot in front of my Crow. Oddly enough, I was the only person for hundreds of feet to all sides in this parking structure. Why was I the only one in this part, barely able to see the next parked person? Efficient utilization of space certainly wasn’t a chief concern of rest stop owners.

Still. I waited. And waited. Nobody wanted to sign up for my most anti-establishment DISCORD Alliance, the perfect antithesis to the injustice of Empire City’s ‘shoot first, walk away later’ police force.

Perhaps pitying my position, a single individual walked over from a nearby booth belonging to some small corporation. “Hey.” He said briefly. “There’s a Person Owned Structure two blocks down that needs to be taken out. I’ll pay you a hundred million dollars if your corp knocks over the tower.” He said, looking quite serious.

Money? The chance at violence against people I barely knew? I took his offer without a second glance. This could be a big break, for DISCORD was in business at last with it’s mighty army of one.

I left, quite pleased with myself then. Whistling happily with the Crow pulling out of the parking garage. I snickered. A hundred million for such a task at knocking down some crappy POS?

How long could this possibly take?

(to be continued).

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Part 20 – Things get politicized!

I was in a lawless place down, keeping quiet and relaxed so that my superhuman LocalSenses would pick up anyone wishing to harm my poor self. Strangely, I felt my own powers grow stronger, able to tell now who was friendly and who was not.

Still, things were awfully quiet surprisingly, on the lonely HED-GP Highway. I cruised on, and on and on, looking for a port of call, a place I could call home for a little while as I plundered this new land. Occasionally a few bandits or those weird Sansha cultists would attack me, but I fought back with renewed resolution. Their deaths were unavoidable, as they wanted it this way.

I would of course, honor their memories by looting every drop of cash and useful wreckage from their burned and twisted wrecks. Amongst these newfound treasures was a very expensive ‘Gisti-A’ Wedding Ring, I slyly pulled off someone’s dead finger. Nope, my conscience wasn’t bothered in the slightest.

Still. For the scare talk I heard back in Empire City or by those spineless corp-mates I had, this was a lot less dangerous than I had imagined! The rumors of a militant ‘Company of Siblings’, retired WW2 airborne soldiers fighting ‘Ascending Pioneers’, a mob of industrialized secessionists from some long-dead democracy seemed to be just rumors and tall tales. Perhaps people out here were decent folk after all.

That’s what I thought, until I met the Russians.

Driving to Immensea County, I met a local welcome. Russians were there, chattering in their incomprehensible language and waiting on the onramp to the next short interstate section. I drove for the ramp still, thinking to not garner attention…

They hit me pretty hard, and I swerved dramatically to avoid being badly hurt. There were vehicles of all sizes, but I was managing to evade most of their hate quite adeptly. I fired back, severely damaging one of them. Oddly, the instant it was hurt, the driver seemed to have ‘spaced out’, and the car sped off into some unknown direction. It was an odd strategy that felt strangely dirty to me, but still seemed like a frequent trick of these types.

I made it to the highway through the void created by Comrade Logoffski (as his vanity plate read as he drove off), and sped down the road, leaving them in the dust of this trusty Crow. She was such a large improvement over my previous Condor, even though both had that awkwardly banged up wing. It was absolutely amazing what a new red paint job, a pair of bulky missile racks and a nice ‘II’ sticker pasted on the side does to an otherwise mediocre car.

Up ahead was a rest stop, and I pulled over. It seemed friendly and these folks didn’t shoot first at least, lacking the odd prejudice against all colors except blue that many had in these wild parts. I drove in and placed my Crow into a nice, safe garage. It was time for a rest, and to learn more about local politics out in 0.0. How complicated could it possibly be to stay in a nice, safe area and not worry about the fighting all around?

My mind boggled, and my chest hurt at what I saw next.

(To be continued…)