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Tag: gabriel alkest

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I have come back to the Intaki Liberation Front!

It was not entirely at my convenience, but I’m not sad it happened when it did. I had expected to stay with Tantalus and CM a bit longer, but when the universe so obviously says otherwise, what is one to do but smile and nod and just do it?

The war against Silent Overwatch was going nowhere so it was withdrawn. Fine by me. Almost immediately after that, Comic Mischief seemed to implode. I’m not clear on all the details, but Natalya wanted us to go down to Amarr space and hop into ops with a group of blue pilots from outside the alliance. I was stationside for the first one but Gabe and the others were there. Something went wrong and most of our ships were destroyed. The guys were pretty upset about how it was handled, and I don’t blame them.

After that, Natalya seemed to pull back to go off to do his own thing in a wormhole somewhere, while the rest of the alliance leadership were more or less nowhere to be found. Activity nosedived, and those of us on the lower end of the ladder were left not knowing what was going on.

Then I had an argument with Gabe. I’d managed to catch one of the alliance guys in space and we had a conversation about a number of things. The topic had turned to personal plans so I mentioned I’d be going back to ILF, especially since it looked like the alliance was heading in a direction that didn’t align with my personal goals. Gabe came to see me in my quarters after that, quite angry. Obviously what I’d said had been repeated to him and he didn’t like it.

I might have been a duly registered member of Tantalus Inc., but nobody, not Gabe, not Devan, not the whole Comic Mischief alliance, nobody gets to treat me like they own me. Imagine my surprise when I was informed that I’m not to have my own opinion unless it matches what the alliance thinks! And should the alliance want to take on an activity that I personally have no interest in, I should basically “shut up, put up”, just do what I’m told and thank them very much for it, because hey, it’s going to reflect poorly on Gabe if I dare to have a mind of my own. “It would be swell if this didn’t come back on me!” he said as he stood there lecturing me.

When I tried to explain myself he told me he didn’t want to hear it because he wasn’t going “to dispute what was said or why”essentially, he was right and I’d committed some cardinal sin by expressing myself, end of story. I reminded him then that he knew from the start I was only with Tantalus temporarily and only interested in gaining practical combat experience against other capsuleers. That set him off and he stormed out, but shouted at me from the other side of the door about how ‘unreal’ I am. “I’m done here!” he said.

I guess he hadn’t changed after all. I almost expected I’d have to literally toss him from my quarters but thankfully it didn’t come to that. I’m really very glad now he didn’t join ILF. Perhaps the Suresha knew all along he would show these colors…

When I walked into the ILF corp lounge today, Mammal and a few others were there but didn’t notice me right away. I took great delight in the surprise on their faces when I announced, “I’m back!” Mammal jumped up with a cry of “Sakaane!” to give me a hug, and Bataav (sitting cloaked up outside the station, as he’s fond of doing) was in my ear with a warm welcome much the same. Such a contrast to Gabe’s treatment…

Yes, this is home, and I’m happy to be back.


Loyalties Affirmed

Thanks to Gabriel Alkest, Devan Corvel, and Saxon Hawke for participating.

Sinq Laison Region – Coriault Constellation – Odotte System

“We’ll be testing fits today,” Natalya said. “Pair up to start. First one to get their partner to twenty-five percent armor wins. Do not proceed further than that, else I’ll fine your whiny asses. Sak, you’re first.”

She nudged her ship, Fire of Sekhmet, into the arena, watching her opponent’s Megathron approaching from the opposite direction. A ring of ships surrounded them, each from Comic Mischief member corporations.

The pilot in the Megathron jettisoned one unit of ammunition. She sent a command to loot his can, bypassing the automated warning that she was about to commit a criminal act.

He flashed red on her overview as he opened fire and she returned the favor, launching drones and pulling her Harbinger in tight, orbiting him at her laser turrets’ optimal range.

It was a close battle, but the Megathron, stationary and not fitted to web her down, slowly found its tank breaking ahead of her own. Eventually, Natalya called it.

“Good work. So here we see the importance of being able to stay moving against targets and how your optimals can work for or against you. The Meg couldn’t track as well with the Harb spinning around it like that, while Sak scored solid hits against the stationary target. Being inside the blaster’s optimal range while still being at her own meant her hits were better, while the ones she received didn’t do as much damage as they could have. With some better drone skills, Sakaane would have easily pulled ahead and beat this battleship. Let’s have a look at that Meg’s fit…”


Loyalties

I received a response to my resignation from the Suresha today. I didn’t think I’d get one, but it says something that he took time out of his busy day to reply to me. He expressed his disappointment that I (and Devan and Eric, who followed two days ago) left without speaking with him about my concerns first.

In his mail he said he didn’t believe me when I said I would return. Other pilots have left and said much the same, and never kept their word.

I feel guilty. He is entirely correct, I could have tried to speak with him. I suppose after my experience with Nailo and given that Gabe never heard back from Suresha Hawke, I assumed there was no point in trying to broach the topic myself. That’s no excuse though. I have felt so torn this year and now I wonder if I have made a bigger mess of things than I intended.

I replied and spoke frankly, telling him the things I should have said originally. I wasn’t thrilled to feel I had to leave ILF; I wouldn’t have said I wish to return if I didn’t mean it; I respect him as a leader and that’s one reason it was difficult to go.

I told him my thoughts about the mail he sent the day I joined ILF, wherein he instructed the established Aditipala squadrons, wings, and fleets to disband because someone in the command structure had recently left the organization. He wanted the combat pilots to work ad-hoc instead, and I think now that’s why activity fell off as sharply as it did.

Since leaving ILF I have learned very quickly that structure in capsuleer combat is essential. Making mandatory, organized use of fleet comms is essential. Destroying whatever structure they had left everyone lost. Additionally, there was little to no seniority in the available pilots in Intaki. We were all Kacha, and the few times there were pilots around who weren’t, they were obviously still lacking in the necessary experience to properly FC a roam (compared to the excellent FCing I have experienced since then). With groups like SCUM and the Tuskers moving in, the pilots who were there, including me, were seriously out-classed and out-gunned.

Then there is the enigma that is Nimloth Valinor. Since I left ILF she seems to have taken an almost obsessed interest in me, to the point of requesting comms daily and analyzing my kill history uninvited. She’s also been flying with ILF pilots. But from my conversations with her I know Nimloth engages in pirate activity and she or others in her corp tries to spy on ILF via FreeIntaki and possibly other avenues. She’s told me her corpmates actively hunt targets in the ILF area. Why she admits this information to me freely I have no idea. Surely she must realize I’ll pass it on.

Her behavior is quite odd and while activities the last few days show she is helping to get kills for ILF, her conversations with me about same lead me to believe this is somehow part of an elaborate plan to somehow disgrace ILF. She often shares ship fits with me that are questionable and I would hate for ILF pilots to be intentionally misled. But…how will they know any better? I imagine they are grateful for the assistance instead of wary. I hope I’m wrong about this pilot but my instincts tell me I’m not.

Then I brought up Gabe. I was keen to have him join ILF because I knew he would be able to help many people (including me, but specifically the bomber pilots) improve their skills I told the Suresha how Gabe felt about not receiving a reply to his mail and how he’d taken it personally. I wasn’t sure what good it would do.

Some hours after I sent the mail, the Suresha contacted me directly.

If ever I wondered before to whom my loyalties belonged, there is absolutely no question about it now.

I should never have left the Intaki Liberation Front. I will stay with Tantalus only so long as I need to become comfortable with my skills, and then I will go home. I will keep my word to the Suresha. I promise.


Tantalus

Thanks to Gabriel Alkest and Devan Corvel for participating.

Intaki V – Moon 5 – Astral Mining Inc. Refinery
ILF Office

The corporation lounge was empty. Again. Sakaane sighed and let the door close behind her.

“Such a crowd!” she said to the vacant space. “Wherever shall I sit?”

Sinking down onto the nearest cushion, elbow on her knee and chin cupped in her hand, Sakaane accessed her comm link and flipped through various channels, trying to see where everyone was. But, as had become the norm for her in the last few weeks, there was no one to be found. No Mammal, no Bataav, no anyone.

A familiar feeling of frustration washed over her. TGPI all over again. This is ridiculous. I came home to help my homeworld but instead find myself sitting idle. I could have stayed in Bereye and accomplished exactly the same!

Despite the encouraging first impression ILF had made upon her arrival in August, her excitement and hope from being home again for the first time in six years had quickly been crushed, starting with a triple set of losses to other capsuleers—one of which had nothing to do with actual combat but was due entirely to an embarrassing mistake on her part. Tactics and combat down here were so very different to what she was used to in high security space. How many years shooting Serpentis and yet I feel I have learned…nothing.

Immediately after that her new corpmates all seemed to evaporate. This sudden and disturbing lack of activity from the corporation had left Sakaane alone in Intaki. With SCUM and Tuskers running rampant through the area, space was simply too volatile for a single pilot, already feeling inadequate to the task, to venture out into space and do anything but be a target.


Cleanup

We’ve made slow but steady progress in getting the corp tied down. Who knew there would be so much work involved? I even flew all the way down to Ghesis and then back around through some wayward systems I’ve never heard of to pick up a few residual items that someone (probably Nailo) abandoned after leaving the corp. A lot of it had been impounded and I had to pay to get it back.

Things with Devan progress too I guess. I don’t see him much still but I think it’s just his way of dealing with what happened between us. Nevertheless we’ve made some strides with finding our way back to being friends and I can tell he’s been sorting through all the junk in the corp hangars, because things disappear and the corp wallet balance goes up and up and up.

The most extraordinary thing happened too. The other day Gabriel Alkest popped up literally from nowhere. None of us has seen or heard from Gabe or his brother Ven since they left to go fight with FDU.

I was the only one around at the time. I’d just finished packing up one of the storage rooms in the TGPI office and had sat down for a break when, just suddenly, there he was in the doorway.

Although our first meeting was less than stellar, in the couple of months before he left TGPI Gabe and I did have a few more opportunities to get to know each other a bit better. We still never really got along. Oil and water, as they say. I don’t know what about today was different, but we didn’t argue. Maybe it’s because I’ve been on my own so much since April and was just thankful to have someone, anyone, to talk to. Maybe it’s because he’s gained some perspective in the time he’s been away at war. Probably both, but who knows for sure. In any event, we sat and talked for hours, openly about anything and everything. He surprised me with his humor and the number of interests we found we had in common.

He asked after Devan and the corp. I told him everything. He seemed shocked that Devan and I had split up instead of being married with about ten children by now. There was nothing I could say to that, and while it was like a kind of release to talk it all out with someone, I was still a bit relieved when the conversation moved on to other things.

It turns out Gabe left FDU and was still thinking about what to do next. I mentioned ILF. Whatever personality conflict we may have had in the past seems to have washed away, and given what is going on at home, his combat experience would be valuable. He said he would look into it and possibly send a mail to ILF’s CEO, Saxon Hawke.

After several hours of chatting, the conversation ended well and I’m actually looking forward to speaking to Gabe again. In the meantime I have my own affairs in order and I’m ready to go home. There are just a few last things to sort for TGPI and then we’ll be ready to leave.


Oil and Water

Devan was in-system today. He brought some of the TGPI crew with him, a couple of new recruits he’s showing the ropes to. The four of us went for dinner.

The two recruits are brothers. The one, Ven, was quiet and polite, and I liked him well enough. His brother Gabriel though… I have never met a more stubborn and arrogant man in my life. I don’t want to say that we argued as such, but we certainly didn’t get along.

He wasn’t outright offensive or rude, but he is over-confident and over-zealous, and I think he’s impatient for glory. TGPI is a small, close-knit outfit that takes measured steps rather than hurrying out wildly into the void. They don’t do things simply because it might be “cool”. Gabe seems to think he should have it all now. He even talked about how he’s sure he’s going to rise through the corp’s ranks. The word “entitled” came to mind…

He’s young and he has enthusiasm though, which I’m sure is excellent for the corp, but I get the impression his zeal and lust for excitement is going to be his undoing unless he learns a bit of restraint. He reminds me of kids who watch old holoreels about war and get starry-eyed at the supposed romance of it all.

Dinner wasn’t a total disaster…once we stopped talking directly to one another, that is. Maybe we just got off on the wrong foot.