What follows is a fan fiction written by me in 2010 and takes place in the fictional universe of Eve Online

“Damn it!”.

This is turning out to be a really bad week, Raiukat thought as he walked to the nearest medical station. The cut wasn’t as bad as it had first seemed. Not that it mattered. If they couldn’t get the engines back online soon a small cut was the least of his problems.

As much as he hated to admit it, Kira had been right this time. “But I’ll never tell her that” he mumbled to himself as he made his way to the mess hall.

Raiukat Malu had served with the Caldari militia in the Black Rise region during the war. After his contract expired he had taken what little credits had been earned and through his remaining connections in the militia bought his own ship.

She was an Ibis class non-capsule fitted frigate, and with it he started his own company specializing in salvage and bio-matter recovery from war zones.

“What happened to you?”.

Fenris was the youngest of the three, only 22, but had the mentality of a man at least twice that. The reason Raiukat had hired him in the first place.

“Just that damn scrap metal that is our engine. I was trying to get to the interface circuit to see the extent of the damage but cut my self on the mess. By the way its totally fried. I’m not sure that this baby will ever fly again.”

“Serves you right for buying the cheapest ship on the market!”. Kira was the weapons expert in the group and had been with Raiukat since the beginning of this little enterprise. She had been strongly against buying an Ibis class rather than the sturdier Velator class.

“Well I don’t know if you remember but I wasn’t exactly drowning in money when I started out!”.

The long outdated Ibis had been dirt cheap at the time compared to other options. The Caldari, always the greedy bunch, had stopped manufacturing and upgrading the Ibis fleet when it became clear that it was cheaper to buy Minmatar Reapers and retro fit them for active duty. So the market was awash with old and outdated models that could be gotten for a dime. They were heading for the scrap yards anyway.

Compare that to the Gallente that saw it as a right of each citizen to have the option of a relatively cheap ship that was up to date with all standards.

But since he wasn’t a citizen of the Gallente federation it would have cost him three times as much to buy a Velator then the Ibis even though it had been an original model (what he considered a true Ibis with pride, but made it an antique in the eyes of everyone else).

And using an Imparior or a Reaper would not have worked. Kira would have left the crew.

But the main reason Raiukat had gone against her advice was political. The business he did was frowned upon enough without having his loyalties questioned as well.

“But that is the world we live in right now and I’m profiting off it” he thought to himself.

Raiukat had been a hydraulics operator in one of the gun batteries on board a Rokh battleship that had fought for the Caldari militia in Black Rise during the first months of the war. His captain had run a tight ship.

Too tight one might say.

There had been incidents where crewmen, deemed lazy by the captain, had been put in cargo containers with just the bare minimum supplies and jettisoned into space.

But that had been the captains prerogative, as each man under him had signed a contract before stepping on board which stated this possibility. This was a war ship, not a luxury liner. The cans were normally picked up by passing ships in the end.

At least that was what he had heard.

Not wanting to find out for him self, he had worked hard, trying not to stand out. One day he was approached by his supervisor and told to report to the bridge. Turned out that the captain, with his metallic eye’s everywhere, had noticed how much work he had put in and had become interested in Raiukat.

That day Raiukat was promoted to the status of section chief in the rear engine compartment. It was a horrible place. Incredible noise and heat all day long. Not worth the promotion Raiukat thought. There was nothing he could do about it though. You do what the captain orders, or you end up in a can.

Later that same day the ship got ambushed by a couple of Gallente militia ships while en route to pick up supplies in orbit of the third planet in the Pavanakka system.

Having neither sufficient ammunition or emergency capacitor boosters Raiukat knew that they wouldn’t survive long. The ship got partially blown to bits but due to the radically new design features of the Rokh, every crewman working in the engine compartments survived. Everyone else got either vaporized or got blown into space.

Their backup warped in moments later only to find the aft hull drifting silently in space. After that word got around and soon every crewman wanted to work in the engine compartments.

It didn’t take long for word to reach the other side as well and before long it didn’t matter where on the ship you were stationed.

“So where do we stand? Kira?”

“Stand? We’re fucking lying unconscious face down in the mud is where we stand!”

“Ok, ok I get it! We’re screwed. But humor me. Whats our status?”

Kira sighed while tapping the controls on the holo projector. In a instance a picture appeared of the ship. It had a myriad of flashing red dots all over.

She had really not been exaggerating he thought to himself.

“Alright, this is the situation. We have multiple minor armor breaches all over the ship but what little nanite compound we didn’t loose is slowly taking care of that. The blast wave had a strong EM signature so likely there was an electron bomb in there that we triggered.”

They had been too gready, starting the hull cutting before doing a full sensor sweep first.

“Most of the micro circuits are charred and we have no replacements. The engine is totally fried and the shield emitters are all malfunctioning so we best not get into any firefights in the near future.”

“Life support?” Raiukat almost didn’t want to know.

“We are good on oxygen as long as we don’t get more areas of the ship exposed to space. Coolant on the other hand we don’t have enough of. Maybe enough to last us two days.”

Raiukat sighed and poured himself another cup of coffee.

All this fantastic technology and still everyone had to bow down to the three lords of thermodynamics.

“Fenris any ideas?”

“I know you’ll say no, but even though the main antenna array is gone we could use the F-89 to boost an emergency signal and take our chances that somebody will pick it up”

“Your damn right I say no! You do know where we are don’t you?” Raiukat shouted as best as he oculd with his mouth full of luke warm coffee.

“There are both friend and foe around here sir. There is not going to be a rescue team coming for us and we will most likely not survive more then 3-4 days in our current situation. You’ve seen the reports! This system will be conquered by then and all the forces will have moved on. The only ships that are likely to find us by then are other scavengers, and sir as scavengers ourselves we know they’d rather get our salvage then our thanks”

“That is exactly the reason why I think we don’t have any friends around here”

When word hit the net that a huge unidentified force of Minmatar republic and Thukker tribe ships had stormed the Amarr empire and annihilated all opposition, every scavenger in New Eden aligned towards the nearest gate and fired up their warp drives in hopes of being the first on the scene.

Raiukat had been no different.

At the time he and Kira had been in the Faspera system hoping to salvage some of the Ammatar navy’s prototype’s that got put through their paces in the system.

Sure there was good money to be made from high tech prototype salvage but the image of all those dreadnoughts and battleships just floating there, ready to be stripped was more than enough to make them drop everything and fire up the drive. Plus they had only been a couple of jumps away from Sarum Prime.

Couple of hours later they arrived to find the most glorious sight possible. Hundreds of hulls of all sizes and shapes floating silently around the inner planets, occasionally striking each other with incredible force.

But there were also active ships. Other scavengers, hundreds of them cutting into the hulls, like flies to a carcass, all trying to get to the precious technology inside.

But they had all been doing it wrong. They were going for the largest ships, the Titan and dreadnoughts. Those hulls had meters of armor plating and reinforced bulkheads that needed to be gotten through before reaching that delicious technical marrow inside.

Instead Raiukat and Kira had turned their attention to the smaller ships; The cruisers, frigates and planetary drop ships. Why go after a few expensive parts, when you can get enormous amounts of low end cheap parts for half the effort.

Neither the Amarr navy nor the Sarum family had opposed the scavengers. As they saw it they were just cleaning up the mess for them. They did however have strict rules regarding survivors and bodies of Amarr navy men.

If a salvage crew was discovered to deny survivors help, or event not collect the bodies of the dead (thus denying them proper Amarrian funeral rights), then they and their ship would be shot down without hesitation.

The Amarr did not however give two isk about what happened to those Minmatar who where alive in the wreckage. If the survivors, or bodies, where Minmatar then the captains could either leave them, blow them out of an airlock or hand the survivors over for slave indoctrination.

They could even harvest the bodies for bio refinement in the nearest stations if they so wished.

That way they could actually get some isk for their troubles.

While salvage was their primary source of income, Raiukat had to admit that installing that bio sludge tank on the ship had been a good investment.

By now it had paid it self off many times over.

“Warning! Breach in nanite tank 4C! Warning! Breach in nanite tank 4C!”

“Fuck fuck fuck! Fenris seal of that deck!” Kira shouted.

Fenris quickly tapped the commands into his data pad and almost immediately the klaxon died down. The warning lights still blinked, casting an eerie red hue over the room and magnifying the silence to unbearable heights.

None of them dared to speak, as if breaking the silence would cause the ship to split in half.

Nanite paste, a sludge made up of millions upon millions of small nanoscopic machines, was a marvel of science and engineering. By injecting the paste over a damaged module, armor or hull segments and sending the correct command code to the machines repairs could be made without docking at a station, saving both time and often large amounts of isk.

While the nanites them selves were harmless, in their neutral state, the carrier fluid they floated in was extremely toxic to organic matter.

“Now what? That whole deck is flooded and its the only way for us to get to the engine compartment. We need to get there to be able to fix the drive!” Fenris had been exceptionally calm during the whole ordeal but now Raiukat could notice how his voice was fraying at the edges.

He wasn’t sure if his own artificial composure would last much longer.

“This does make things a bit more complicated. Not that we would have been able to fix the engines in the first place, since that EMP fried most of our nanites” Raiukat said in as neutral a voice as he could muster.

“The main issue is that our EVA suits are stored in the engine compartment along with the emergency oxygen supplies and nutritional supplements, which we will need to make it out of this situation”

He could see though how any hope of making it out of this situation drained away from both Kira and Fenris. They had just now realized that there was enough only oxygen by using the emergency reserves and scrubbers in the EVA suits.

Access to which was now blocked by hallways filled with toxic fluid that could strip organic matter from bones in seconds. Ironically that was the same process by which the ship’s bio sludge tank functioned on.

Raiukat sighed and took another sip of his coffee.

“Coffee” he thought. “This isn’t coffee. At least not the original stuff. Just some synthetic sludge, cooked up in a lab somewhere, full of stuff I probably don’t want to know anything about.”

“Fenrir, how long would it take you to route a signal through the F-89?”