Monday, May 5, 2014

EVE Online Origins: The Enemy at the Gate

Five grey wrecks were the only thing that marked our exit. Five grey wrecks which would soon be gone, removing all indication that we had ever been there. Like a midnight snowstorm, or a moonless tide, the darkness would creep in and cover all of our tracks.

But perhaps, I should start from the beginning.

When my corpmates and I heard about the new space, we knew immediately that we would be going there. We wrote lists of what we would bring, and read everything we could get our hands on about the place. There were accounts of asteroids bigger than titans. Of a strange new pirate race that hadn’t even been named yet, and who behaved completely different from any pirates we had ever known before. There were accounts of large black stargates—and conflicting reports of whether or not these gates were usable.

Cartographers were copying and selling maps in every major market hub, claiming that their particular maps held secrets of the ‘dark space,’ as everyone was calling it these days. Bookmarks to wormholes leading to the new space were sold at a premium.

Only some were legitimate.

There were rumors of an established colony that people called ‘Eldorado.’ Apparently, regardless of alliance and political affiliations, anyone was welcome to join Eldorado (if they could find a way to get there) and participate in the workings of the colony.

Others were skeptical, and there were other rumors that Eldorado was really a trap, and that the colonists who lived there would steal any supplies you brought with you, and send you on a pod express home.

We decided that we’d go it alone, and establish our own colony. We’d never had need for alliances and coalitions before, and there didn’t seem any reason to start being friendly now.

It took a few days to pack everything up, and by the end of that time, Joey—our resident exploration expert—had found a wormhole that would lead us to our new home. The entrance was in low-sec, only a dozen jumps from our highsec home base, and the place on the other side seemed quiet and uninhabited.

We were actually very lucky. Wormholes to the Dark Space were rare –we probably could have sold the bookmark for at least a billion isk.

And so it began that the seven of us departed the known universe for a strange and mysterious place. We had stars in our eyes about the riches we would find and bring back. And I have to be honest –there was some thought to starting an empire of our own, even though empire building had never really been in the books for us before. Maybe out here we’d actually have a chance at it.
But, before you build an empire, one must first establish a settlement.

A few of us went to work setting up the POSes immediately upon arriving, once we found moons we liked. Others split off and started exploring. They peered into belts, and started to catalog the planets. All information was carefully entered into maps, which would be copied to the rest of the group at the end of the day so that we all had the latest—and the same –data.

A few had brought probes with them, and went to work looking at what sort of signatures were out there.

There was a small squabble about what to name the system. I guess it’s not every day that you get to name a solar system in outer space! But, as the CEO and the supposed leader of this little expedition I nipped that in the bud, and proclaimed that we would simply call it ‘Aurora I.’ It went well with the name of our corporation, and the guys started calling our new home ‘Rory.’

One of the guys found a gate, and that caused quite a bit of excitement.

“I’m going to activate it and see where it goes!” Joey announced excitedly. And I could picture his finger already reaching the ‘Jump’ button to do exactly that.

I told him to wait. Once we were done unpacking, then we could do some deeper exploring as a group. I didn’t want someone getting cutoff and dead the very first day.

The plan was to setup the two POSes we brought at two moons relatively close to each other. But there was a mixup and Aiden (who’s honestly a bit daft if you ask me, but don’t tell him I said so..) mixed up which was going where and started attempting to anchor the second POS at the moon where I had already anchored the first…

And I guess that was our first major discovery. Apparently, the ‘rules’ don’t apply out here in quite the same way. Both  POSes were successfully anchored and onlined relatively near one another before I switched to my POS overview and realized what was going on.

The others rushed back to look for themselves. Two POSes at one moon—side by side. It was a strange sight, and it should have been impossible.

“They look like boobs.” said one of our newer members, much to the snickering of everyone else.

I tried to steer the conversation back to more serious matters, but from then on out, we could never really shake the nickname. So, with much embarrassment I have to admit that we started calling our odd double POS base ‘The Boobs.’

With everything onlining, I decided that we had better go investigate that gate before Joey had an aneurism. I could practically hear him starting to hyperventilate with impatience.

“You coming Harry?”


Harry had disappeared almost immediately upon us arriving, but I kind of suspected where he was.

“You okay?”

“Yep.” he answered shortly.

“Find some big rocks?”


Harry was –and I guess there’s no other way to describe it –addicted to mining. I can only imagine him out there in the barge he brought with him, pointing his lasers in awe at some of the biggest asteroids he had ever seen.

I wasn’t really into mining myself, but whatever floats your boat I guess. And in this case, his efforts would be floating our boats –we would need those minerals to build much needed ships and items that we didn’t have room to bring with us.

“Okay, let’s go check out this gate.”

It was huge, and it was black –similar to all the descriptions we had heard. I simply couldn’t get over how insanely big it was. Even the biggest ships amongst us were dwarfed. It looked like it could accommodate titans back in the real universe. And I suddenly understood those people who occasionally referred to this place as some sort of ‘place of giants.’

“WOW.” said one of the guys, and that pretty much summarized everything we were all thinking at that moment. We just sat there staring at it for a few moments.

“Please, can we activate it?” Joey sounded like he was probably bouncing up and down in his chair in anticipation.


In a few seconds we could all be dead.

The jump seemed normal –like we were jumping through a stargate back home. Though, it took a little longer –as though we were going really, really far.

Once on the other side (and alive) a collective breath seemed to be let out.

We were in a solar system that looked very much like the one we just left.

“Awesome! Another system!”

We poked around a bit, and cataloged a few things in our maps –which now automatically was registering two solar system.

“Are there belts?” Harry chimed in.

“Yes Harry. There are lots and lots of belts, probably with lots and lots of very big rocks.”

It didn’t look like there was anything that would kill anyone, so I headed back to the boobs to set up a few more things.

“Be careful guys, and remember—if you see an NPC, run away as fast as you can.”
I got a few distracted confirmations that they heard me.

Two hours later, Joey had cataloged four separate solar systems, along with several black gates that didn’t seem to work.

“I try to jump but it makes a weird sound and a weird flashing and then nothing happens.” Joey said, disappointed.

“Yeah, some of these gates –it’s like they’re ‘broken.’”

“Can we repair them?”

“How would we even do that…?”

“I have no clue. “

“Well, I’m going to finish moving this ore for Harry, and them I’m probably going to go to bed.” I announced. It was almost 2 AM, and as much as I’d love to simply explore and work on building up our new home, I did have a day job I needed to think about.

“Guys…”  It was Satch. He was known in corp for his ridiculous spreadsheets he made about all our industrial operations, and he had been carefully going through all the celestials and cataloging them and writing up detailed, legible information. He was much better at that then some of the other guys who were just haphazardly writing nearly unintelligible notes about things before moving on to explore the next thing.

“What’s, up Satch?”

“I….found something weird…” He sounded incredulous which definitely piqued my curiosity.
“What is it??” Joey was already on his way.

“It’s in the second system we found connected to Aurora I. Come take a look at this…”

We all made a beeline to the system from our relative places.

“This can’t be right.” Satch said…

“Hold on Satch, we’re almost there.”

“What is it??” Joey asked again, sounding even more excited. “What did you find?”

I landed on grid of Satch, with the others close on my heels. And, I just stared. It was the first time we had found anything remotely familiar to the place we had left behind us…

“Is that…?”

“Definitely looks like it.” Joey was in awe.

“That doesn’t make any sense though. “

What. The. Hell.”

“I’m going to go call Ben’s cell. He needs to see this.”

Ben was the only one amongst us who paid any attention to the lore. It hadn’t seemed like a necessary knowledge set for this expedition –until now.

Ten minutes later, a groggy Ben was logging in. He had come through the wormhole with us, but had gone to bed hours ago.

“What’s up guys? What did you find?”

“Come look at this, Ben, and tell us what you think.”

“Okay…” He sounded a little annoyed. I guess if I had been woken up in the middle of the night to look at something in a video game, I’d be annoyed too.

It took him a few minutes as we had to explain how to get to the stargate.

“Holy crap, that’s huge!” he said, jumping through to the second system.

“Yeah, we found several systems after you went to bed. But, wait until you see this…”
Ben arrived on grid shortly, and there was complete silence on coms.

“Is that?!”

“You tell us.”

He approached it, circling it, looking at it.


“Well.” said Ben, suddenly not sounding groggy anymore.

“Is it a replica? A copy? The other end we’ve always been supposed to wonder about?”

“Or it’s the SAME one, and we’re in an alternative universe.” chimed in someone else.

“I have no clue.” Ben admitted. “All I know is that this thing looks virtually identical to The EVE Gate.”

“Only….it doesn’t look so broken to me….” admitted Satch.

That was when everything lit up like a Christmas Tree being turned on in the middle of a dark, midnight field.


Satch’s ship exploded into wreckage almost immediately. He had been in a covert ops frigate and was the most fragile amongst us.

“Run, guys!”

There were no less than two dozen hostile NPCs. They had come from nowhere –landing nearly right on top of us. And I have no idea what they were shooting at us –only that it wasn’t like anything I’d ever been shot with before.  Our ships were defenseless against it, one volley stripping my ship down to nearly structure.

“Move it guys. Move. Move. Move. Move.”

We all piled at the star gate leading back home to Aurora I.

“Crap…that was messed up.”

“What was that??”

“Well, I kinda of wondered where the locals were…” Joey admitted, landing at the gate with us—the last to arrive.

“I guess we found them….” I said, before my ship exploded around me.

They had followed us.

Five grey wrecks were the only thing that marked our exit. Five grey wrecks which would soon be gone, removing all indication that we had ever been there. Like a midnight snowstorm, or a moonless tide, the darkness would creep in and cover all of our tracks.

But the terror in the darkness would be waiting there. Waiting for us to come back. Waiting for our curiosity to get the better of us.

Aurora I was our home, and now our cage.

We were trapped. And they were hunting us.

Read EVE Online: Origins (Part One)


  1. I can only hope this is something coming in the future.

  2. I love this, not only the ideas for what future development might show us, but the way you told it. Great suspense. Hope you've got more!

  3. Nicely done.

    That's what we need ... a huge vet Capsuleer sink. ;)

  4. The chills at the end. Very well written :)

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