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Sara Kerrigan
Caldari
PAK
Posted - 2004.02.19 23:30:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Sara Kerrigan on 26/03/2004 21:25:48
The following is based on a true story; some names have been modified.

No Longer Original
By Sara Kerrigan


Gasping for air, I pull my head to the surface, tearing past the layers of slimy gel encasing my body. Where am I? My eyes open, absorbing light for the first time. What is this place? Sudden pain. My eyes roll back as electronic pulses rush through my brain, a chaotic wave of Identity imprinting itself into my very being. Images of my life surge through my mind like a holoreel in fast forward. I am Commodore Sara Kerrigan, CEO of the infamous PAK Corporation. Born and raised in New Caldari, daughter of a Ship Scanner I manufacturer and retired pilot of the Caldari Navy. An interest in flight brought me to Kisogo, where I graduated from the State War Academy. Turned rogue by the need to avenge a loved one, I sought to kill all Guristas with or without the help of the Navy. But with madness swelling up inside, I turned to piracy myself to ease my pains... and to bring suffering to everyone in my path.

The searing headache has ended; my eyes open once more, fully aware of who and what I am... and more importantly, where I am. This is the Inherent Implants Biotech Productions station in the Kamih solar system... and as I look around and see the rows of hollow silver caskets with green lids, white polished walls and assortment of high tech cybernetics equipment, this could mean none other than the medical facility. I am a clone. Denial. Confusion. It can't be. There must be some mistake. I try to lift myself, but fall back into the tub of gel; my new muscles are not used to the strain. Too much exertion; dizziness is taking over. The world is turning black, and as my eyes close again, the memories of my final day seep in...

---

Sara Kerrigan
Caldari
PAK
Posted - 2004.02.19 23:30:00 - [2]
 

14:00. A throbbing siren awoke my semi-dormant mind and I hurried to assess the situation; it didn't take long thanks to the neural links connecting my mind to the ship. A single thought would allow me to operate anything onboard the ship, from navigation to weapon systems. The soft hum of the engines vibrated in my chest, and my skin felt the coldness of space as only the hull plating would know. I was the ship... and it was me. Through the eyes of hovering camera drones I panned around the ship, enthralled by it's beauty; a ritual I had grown much accustomed to over the years. This was my Scorpion class battleship, so aptly named the Twist of Fate--it would take only seconds to turn a man's life fortunes into space dust. With any luck, I wouldn't need any space dust today... just a small transfer of funds. Check positional sensors. Right where I had left her, in orbit of planet seven of the Hier solar system. And now to check on that siren. Activate long range scanners, max range at a sixty degree spread. She's out there somewhere.

Within minutes the scans were complete and the system digitally mapped. Filtering and scrolling through the rows of data, I found exactly what I was looking for... the key to my financial woes. A furrier in a slaver's den. Taking the scans to the next level, I narrowed the range and angle to produce more accurate coordinates. And there she is.

Through the pod's neural interface I opened a channel to all nearby ships under my command; time was of the essence. One by one the faces of my companions entered my mind as if walking through a door and taking their seats at a round table. There was Captain WarHound of the mighty Robin Hood, a Raven class battleship unmatched on this side of the universe. Captain Torvus Jay of the Audacity, a Blackbird cruiser whose flight brought fear to all those in his path. Captain Kakalot of the Oblivion, a Kestrel frigate often underestimated, yet lethal beyond count. Captain Soren of the Silent Night, a Vigil fit for speed and recon. It was with these men I had flown countless raids, and surely many more to come. They were all top notch, best of the best. And they were mine.

"Captains," I addressed them, the miracles of FTL communications allowing us to converse unhindered by distance. "It is time to launch. Prepare your ships and set course for the Hier solar system." Holding my virtual tongue for just a moment, I focused again on the results of the long-range scans; there would be no mistakes today. "My scanners indicate a lone Megathron class battleship at asteroid belt seven-one, approximately one and a half million kilometers from my current position. A container of ore has been dropped, so this is definitely a miner. Why someone would fit mining lasers on a Battleship is still beyond me, but it's getting all too common out here." That last thought made the bile rise in the back of my throat. It's a bloody battleship, not a 'roid demolition craft'.

"Commodore Kerrigan, we are at the stargate and ready to jump on your mark," was the hardened response of my first mate, Captain WarHound. If anything ill should permanently inflict me, he would take command of the fleet. Not much was known about WarHound before he rose to victory in the Kador house championships leading a band of cutthroats, myself included. Often secretive, his long, dark Amarrian cloak had become a symbol of his nature. Yet I had known him for years, and he was the only man I could ever truly trust at my wing.

Sara Kerrigan
Caldari
PAK
Posted - 2004.02.19 23:31:00 - [3]
 

The time is now. We must hurry. "Remember men. Take what you can!" And give nothing back! was the ritual response. "Initiate jump sequence," I instructed the fleet. Shifting my thoughts to the control of my own ship, the engines activated and the purr in my chest intensified; glistening particles marked my engine trails. Thirty-Five... Fifty-Five... Seventy-Five percent of max speed, and the warp core initiated its sequence. I could feel the drain of the capacitors in my stomach as the energy raced through the ship. From the outside, streams of light and dust particles swirled about in majestic patterns--a beautiful sight that none could grow too accustomed to.

Just as quickly as it had started, the warp engines slowed down as I neared the target. This is it, I thought to myself as I relayed the plans through my mind. The asteroid belt was quickly approaching--a vast field of valuable ores, from which comes the minerals to build anything and everything. The lesser Veldspar and Scordite 'roids in bigger proportions, and a hint of everything up to Hedbergite dotted the field. Think fast, act fast. The Megathron, its signal identifying itself as The G.P. Liberty, came into view ten kilometers away as my engines disengaged, chewing on a lump of Jaspet--one of the most easily sold ores for the several mineral types it contains.

Without hesitation, my sensors locked onto the Liberty and immediately activated the J5 Prototype Warp Inhibitors... two in fact, as I would take no chances with Core Stabilizers. She's mine now. Or perhaps not. Within seconds, eight Ogre drones were launched and in attack mode, as the Liberty's Microwarp Drive activated and began its escape from my inhibitor range. Tanking my shields with thermal hardeners, I turned my attention to the fleet channel and began to relay orders just as they came out of warp at the belt. "Kakalot, I need you on him now! Torvus, block his sensors!" A streak of blue trails swooshed by overhead, and I recognized Kakalot's Kestrel, Oblivion, speeding toward the target with his own Microwarp Drive. She would escape soon, as I could only hold her up to twenty kilometers. The distance was growing rapidly... seventeen kilometers... eighteen kilometers... he's got her! With little time to spare, the Megathron Liberty was ensnared by a new set of stasis webifiers and warp disruptors from the Kestrel. Trailing behind, Torvus Jay's Blackbird completed a lock to disable Liberty's sensors, while WarHound focused his attention on the Ogres.

She's mine now. Opening a channel to our new captive, the demands were put forth quite boldly. "Hail. Cut all propulsion and weapon systems and prepare to be scanned. If any friends come to help you, or we suspect any delays, you will be destroyed immediately." And turning back to the fleet, "Soren, begin scans". The high frequency ringing from the ship and cargo scanners could be heard as they penetrated the ship's hull. Soren despised this part of the job... he would rather be flying about in his scorpion causing trouble, than doing recon and surveillance in a Vigil. But some days it was necessary.

At last the captive had found the courage to speak. "Captain Kerrigan..."

"Commodore," I interrupted her; only the proper title would suffice.

"Err... yes, my apologies. Commodore Kerrigan, I am Alenia Bashere, Captain of the G.P. Liberty. I... I have nothing of value aboard this ship. Please, let me go free." Her voice trembled of fear as she spoke--it was clear enough by her tone that this was her first run-in with a pirate... and the first time she had to contemplate awaking as a clone. Looking over the data retransmitted by Soren, I confirmed what Alenia Bashere had said... just an assortment of junk fitted to this ship--Miner II lasers, basic cargo expanders, and other SCC approved modules--while we of course had access to much better through unofficial channels. Her cargo held only scraps of ore just recently acquired.

Sara Kerrigan
Caldari
PAK
Posted - 2004.02.19 23:31:00 - [4]
 

"Thirty million ISK and your ship goes free," I asserted, leaving no room for negotiation. Alenia's eyes opened wide when her brain finally processed that figure. Not that it was uncommon... after all, this was a level two battleship being ransomed. But nonetheless a large sum of money for a single pilot to be carrying around. Alenia's pleas to negotiate the number, as she claimed not to have that kind of money, were futile. She would have just two minutes to get a loan from her corp. or friends, which would likely put her in someone's debt for a very long time. If she couldn't get it, she would need to eject from the ship.

Finally the word came in. "I have it all!" she exclaimed. "Transferring it to your wallet now." The blue highlighting of my digital wallet was always a refreshing moment. Sure enough, thirty million ISK had been entered. Mission accomplished.

"Thank you for your cooperation, Captain," I acknowledged. "You are free to go." With that, my target lock deactivated. Directing my fleet, they in turn did the same. Having regained her freedom, the G.P. Liberty then turned and warped away to the nearest station, shouts of gratitude following her trails. If only every day was as fruitful as this, I thought to myself; in this region we found little but dust or boulders. Either a poor rookie who couldn’t pay or a larger fleet which refused to pay. Nothing left for us here, we made our way back to Kamih to prepare our next raid. Only Soren's Vigil stayed behind; he would scout a few solar systems for the just right opportunities.

---

18:00. Hours had passed since our last flight, as we awaited transmission from Soren. And then it came. "Commodore, looks like we've got some trouble out here. I'm seeing three Scorpion class battleships en route to your position; all tagged enemies. Scans suggest two are tanked up heavily, and one is a target jammer. I can't get ahead of them to refit, so you'll have to make do without me." I could feel his disappointment; not one of us enjoyed missing a fight. "I will dock here, but first some information on the targets. They are enemy tagged, of the Angmar Defense League; ticker [A.DL]. Targets should be easy to call; the tanks are named A.DL Mithril I and A.DL Mithril II. The jammer is named A.DL Enigma. Commodore... you remember what they did to us before. I think you should consider the formation we discussed long ago. With that, the transmission ended, and I looked to those under my command. We could easily take out the opposition with a full set of battleships; perhaps without any losses. But Soren's words echoed in my mind... remember what they did to us before. Fights between our two corps had raged for months... they win some, we win some. But one day, they didn't just win a fight, they humiliated us. They painted us as cowards for avoiding ten to one odds, and spread their stories throughout the universe, soaked in lies for their reputation. It wouldn't be enough to simply destroy their ships... we would have to embarrass them as they had done to us. The plan must go through.

"Captains," I once again addressed my men. "I can not order any of you to take part in this mission. I can only request it of you. We will soon intercept Angmar forces in the Yehaba solar system, as they make their way to Kamih. It's a suicide mission--you may lose your ship... and you may lose your life. But we have the element of surprise and we will not fail! We may not be able to cripple their assets or force them into submission, but today we shall certainly cripple their Pride! What say you?!"

Sara Kerrigan
Caldari
PAK
Posted - 2004.02.19 23:31:00 - [5]
 

Shouts of "Aye!", and "To victory!", clouded the neural link as I began transmitting ship specs to my companions--the fitting would need to be perfect. Torvus Jay, Kakalot, and I would each pilot a Kestrel with a Warp Disruptor and two Remote Sensor Dampers. WarHound would pilot a Kestrel with three Spatial Destabilizers... just enough to disable a Scorpion. Each with three Standard Launchers of cruise missiles, and one Assault Launcher of defenders, we were to fly into battle... four frigates to take on three battleship. This is suicide... but we will make it work. As the engineers went to work refitting our new ships, I pulled my captains aside to reveal the plans that would make us famous.

---

Anticipation was strong as we entered Yehaba, equipped and ready for the fight of our lives. We had the element of surprise--they would expect to fight battleships in Kamih, not frigates two jumps distant. We must act fast before they realize we're here. Our hearts beat fervently as our eyes fixated on the Gens stargate, just forty-five thousand kilometers from our position at the tenth planet. Gens was the quickest route to Kamih, and thus the one our prey would take. Assured that my team was ready, I linked the warp drives of our ships--"gang warp" it was so often called. It would allow us to arrive at the same time, which was crucial to our success. "Activating gang warp sequence," I announced, "you know what to do." One would hope for a simple plan but no... this was neither madness nor brains. We would rely on one of the most complicated tactics ever seen on this end of the galaxy... perhaps in the whole universe.

Coming out of warp, the three Scorpions were exactly where we wanted them--the closest nearly ten kilometers from the bow of my ship to the stern of his; and the lack of engine trails was an equal blessing. Mithril I, Mithril II, Enigma. Timing and coordination would be vital. Whilst turning a full one-eighty, I rapidly locked onto all three ships before warping back the way I came. Most ships come equipped with a standard auto-lock feature that would react to whoever triggers it first. Making use of this knowledge, I successfully detained their auto-locks on a null target, giving ample time for WarHound to jam the Enigma, and for Torvus Jay and Kakalot to set their dampeners on each of the tanked Mithrils--which of course would otherwise have been countered by auto-lock. What was once twenty seconds to target a Kestrel, suddenly became one hundred seconds. Warping back seconds later, the battle had already begun--cruise missiles congested the field as Kestrels unloaded volley after volley upon the helpless Scorpion. Defender Missiles, too, dotted the skies in search of Friend-or-Foe Cruise missiles unleashed by the Enigma; a wise choice to have brought these, as a single hit could nearly cripple our frigates. I took my place with the others in a five-kilometer orbit of the Enigma, unleashing my own wave of terror upon the beast. With three warp disruptors between us, there would be no escape for him unless he could destroy us all.

Sara Kerrigan
Caldari
PAK
Posted - 2004.02.19 23:31:00 - [6]
 

Edited by: Sara Kerrigan on 26/03/2004 21:24:54
Less than two minutes later, the tanked Scorpions completed their target locks on Torvus, a lethal volley of missiles--and some missed laser shots--heading his way. But it was not yet his time to die, as his warp drives activated just moments before collision. The battle raged on for what seemed an eternity, frigates warping out and back in between volleys. The colossal Scorpion was falling... just a matter of time now. We were invincible, and we knew it. That was, until the explosion. I was partially linked to all ships in my gang, and I could feel a shockwave pass through Kakalot's critical systems as a FoF Cruise missile had managed to penetrate the line of Defenders and get a wrecking hit on his ship. Soon after, another explosion... and a squish. Tightening the eyes of my body, I tried to put the thought out of my mind. Kakalot had died, but it wouldn't be in vain. We pressed on, hearts set on this goal even though we could no longer hold off the two other Scorpions. But with the Enigma's armor dropping rapidly, more disaster struck; Torvus's ship erupted in flames before alignment for warp could complete, corpse incinerated by the lethal bombardment. We were down to two ships, and just as quickly one. WarHound's message reached me clearly, and would have brought a tear of frustration to my eye had I not been encased in gel within my pod. Retreat was necessary, lest we too should die today. I watched as WarHound's ship faded into the distance, missiles giving chase to his warp trails. I was alone. A single frigate looking into the eyes of a pack of battleships. I could run. No. They would not get that pleasure again. I can't fail. A wave of missiles were rapidly approaching from all sides as I let off my last volley of Devastator Cruise Missiles and made a suicide run straight for the Enigma. And then it happened. A short rumble, and a cr4ckling from within the now vibrating Enigma; pieces of hull plating bent and peeled away, and several decks cr4cked and broke off before the entire ship exploded in a ring of light and dust particles, potential debris being incinerated by the massive blast. We did it. Pride swelled up inside me as I tried to digest these events. We had just done what perhaps no one had ever done before... an embarrassment that few could ever top. Four frigates had engaged three battleships in an epic campaign, and a battleship was destroyed. The loss of a few frigates and pods was nothing compared to the shame dealt to our enemies this day, as well as the costs of their Scorpion. As I watched the debris and dust dispersing throughout the cold depths of space, absorbing my moment of victory, I paid little heed to the missiles still following my trails. We really did it, I thought to myself just one last time, as all the lights of the universe poured over me before fading to darkness.

---

Rubbing my eyes open I look around, taking a few seconds to adjust to the bright lighting. I'm laying on my back atop a long table suitable for my size, and I try to pull myself up but to no avail. A gray-haired old man sporting a white lab coat puts a hand across my shoulder to ease me back down. "You'll want to rest a while as you regain your senses miss." Producing a small data sheet from his coat, the man glanced it over before continuing. "Ms. Kerrigan, as part of your replica contract, it is my solemn duty to inform you that your previous self was lost in battle in the Yehaba system. I'm happy to report that no synaptic degradation was encountered in the integration process. When you're ready, we can sign these papers to open a new clone contract for you." Turning on his heels, he stuffed the sheet back into his coat and walked briskly down the hall to attend to other matters while I recuperate. Commodore, not Miss, I wanted to correct him, but I had not the energy to do so. Now as I look up and contemplate my new doppelganger existence, only one thing comes to mind. I'm no longer original.

Soren
PAK
Posted - 2004.02.20 02:40:00 - [7]
 

Damn that recon duty! Laughing

Vel Kyri
Amarr
Empire Assault Corp
Dead Terrorists
Posted - 2004.02.20 08:23:00 - [8]
 

Edited by: Vel Kyri on 20/02/2004 08:23:39
Sara - great story :)

Makes me want to get back into my frigates and play again :)

Roko
Minmatar
Codito Ergo Sum
Posted - 2004.02.21 01:37:00 - [9]
 

Great read Sara, very inspiring.

Kakalot
Caldari Provisions
Posted - 2004.02.21 04:01:00 - [10]
 

i died >_<
this story cant win the prize :P


 

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