Story - Docking Bay (Part i)
Note: As per Hardin's request I've begun to move some of the crap I've been mass producing here for archiving. Feel fre to comment via the EVE summit boards, I value criticism
“Dammit!” shouted Terron as his laser welder fell from his grasp and plummeted to the floor of the docking bay, bouncing occasionally between the huge supporting sub structure that made up the chassis of the Apocalypse Battleship. The tiny unit bounced one, twice, then landed with a large bang onto the distant hard grating floor below.
It was safe to say that Terron didn’t like his job.
The recruitment station on Sarum Prime had boasted a life of adventure to the endless supply of youths, menial workers and low cast citizens of the Empire. The promise of a good wage as well as an escape from the dreary life of low caste living attracted millions from every corner of the Imperium to serve within the Amarr Navy, filling roles suitable to their personality and skills. He’d been a sub-structure welder in his brothers business but decided the life of a civilian wasn’t enough and so had wandered down to his local recruitment station. If only he knew about this. A year of indoctrination and training as an engineer, five years stuck on some asteroid repairing slave skiffs for loading onto “the Ladies” Bestower transports, then this new assignment getting the battleship ready for service. Perhaps they were hiring more engineers to maintain her whilst she goes into service? Too many fleet vessels were going into service without crews these days, relying on AI systems in droids to carry out the routine tasks whilst the pilot goes into pod stasis for the trip. What happens when a repair system goes offline? Hah! That’s right it’s the good ol’ manned repair ship that comes out to clean up the mess! He shook his head and rummaged into his pocket, fishing for a freeze-dried pack of insta-coffee. Perhaps the caption of this lump might be smart and demand that its crewed with REAL Engineers. Some of the old school Commanders and Captains never left port without a good crew on “fleshies” on board, sure the added annoyance of atmosphere processors, waste processing units and food rations was present but……… when the brown stuff hit the fan it was better to be resourceful.
He sat back and sighed, munching absent mindedly on the bar of coffee. There must have been a good thousand people working on this rig, everyone from cabling electricians, warp drive engineers and defence system technicians. Apparently this ship was something special, lots of rumours regarding “outside help” regarding its construction and installation. Still, that was fairly common when something this size was built, and with the present political situation virtually everyone was a conspiracy theorist. He looked down across the broad expanse that formed the top of the battleship at a crew of slaves heaving a massive platelet of armour onto its bearing. Lazy stupid animals, probably be another 50 killed today, but hey there’s always more where they came from.
“Oi fat boy, you chewing on those things again?” Shouted Jerrus, his skinny frame balancing atop a shoddy looking transport bike that was hanging 6 or 7 feet from Terron’s makeshift seat.
“Terron theres a bit of a commotion down on the deck, seems like CONCORD’s whining again about munitions transport loading in a ‘safety Zone’ or whatever the hell that means.”
“Why cant you deal with ‘em? I’m on break!” Terron whined.
“No can do mate, you’re the shift leader for F squads refit time so they wanna speak to you. Oh by the way, the bald one in charge of the conc’s was moaning about slaves dropping from the sky all the time, shall we get some of the lads to lob a skinny one at ‘im?”
Terron pondered on this, it would give his men a bit of a break and would be amusing to tell the others that a whining CONCORD official got crushed by a falling Minnie, but… There were always consequences to these sorts of accidents. And anyway, he was short staffed as it was.
“Better not, we’ll just geddim when he makes a smarmy remark about the Emperor like the last one. Sighs Gimmie a lift down I better go see what the problem is.”
The deck of the docking bay was littered with spare parts, as well as the odd Minnie. Technicians and repair crews milled about in their hundreds, loading on necessary tools, equipment and materials onto the dock transports that would carry it up to the specified location of the huge leviathan being built. Beside the huge finished structure of tactical gun turret B, a small army of CONCORD officials had semi circled around a pair of arguing individuals. One of the men consisted of a short, squat, ugly little runt of a man wearing the official uniform of an officer of CONCORDE (coupled with the appalling fact that he was a Gallentean, regarded mostly within the ranks as the lowest of the low of all CONCORD officals). The other man broad shouldered and slightly annoyed Amarr cabling engineer, battle scarred and worn with an obvious look of disgust at the little mans rantings.
“I don’t care what sorta big ‘n impressive title you’ve got, yer not entering this rig without my bosses consent, got that Gallent!” The large, annoyed man shouted.
“Do you know who I am! I’m in charge of this CONCORD station and I want to speak to your superior about all these armaments being moved into here! Do you know this is a safe Zone?!?!
The big man gave him a vacant stare, obviously having no idea about that the little man was screaming about. He gestured to the transport that had just neatly settled on the deck, to the lead-disembarking individual whose demeanour and clothing identified him to be a man whose regards to personal presentation were not in high regard.
“Get me the shift superior!!!” Screamed the little man.
“I am the shift leader, what do you want.”
The official stopped and stared at Terron, as if unsure that his statement was true. He looked again at the array of spanners, toolbelts, worn Amarrian engineering protective clothing and the disturbing array of freeze-dried meals dotted about the pockets of his person. He looked again at this apparent sorry state for an engineer, then to his waist where hung the distinctive shape of an Amarrian Officers pistol.
“What is THAT doing here in a Safe Zone?” Stated the official.
Terron shrugged, “Keeps me calm” he said with a grin.
“Well” the official cried with a hint of annoyance and dismay “This is a SAFE ZONE, I would’ve thought your officers would have told a grunt like you about….”
“I’m the chief engineering officer, don’t push your luck runt”
“As I was SAYING, I would have thought your SUPERIORS, would have informed you that it is against interstellar regulations to equip a military vessel with armaments whilst in a Docking bay. Do you understand THAT Mr Engineer?”
This upset Terron. It was fairly safe to say that CONCORD was never a popular group with those within the fleet. There were countless occasions where ‘peacekeepers’ had caused problems, and with by no means a small proportion being made of Minmatar personnel the thought of dealing with them as equals was irritating to many. True, Captain Tellen did tell him not to load till after the remainder of the construction work had been done, and true he didn’t like to be wrong in front of his men, but the sheer ARROGANCE that this vermin of a man was showing him in front of his own men made his blood boil. He looked at the huge gun turret that was mounted and operational as a hint of a smile spread across his face.
“Very well… Sir” Terron said slowly, we shall in accordance with interstellar ruling disarm and bow to your ‘wisdom’ on this matter.”
“Its good you know your place as a visitor citizen” said the offical, a smug smile and a tone of victory in his voice. “Its good to know that the Amarr Navy knows what it is to be kept in check.
“shall we unload now sir?”
“This instant citisen! Tell your men to remove all munitions until departure within a designated loading bay.”
Terron bowed his head and turned to the loading engineer who was working the controls of the weapons interface command system. The engineer was watching the event intently, an obvious break from trying to decpyher the complex language of the ships main AI. “Run the gunnery unloading proceedure” Terron said calmy. “But the barrel…..” the engineer stammered, then went quiet as the light of truth appeared behind his tired eyes. The two stared at each other for a few moments as a huge grin began to play across the engineer’s face. “Of course Terron, proceeding with the station managers request at once.”
Everyone in the semi circle, infact everyone within visible range of the spectacle, turned his or her eyes to the huge turret.
At first… nothing.
Then a distant noise… Unrecognisable in the beginning.
The CONCORD contingent peered into the void that was the interior of the turret housing, curiously searching for what on earth that noise could be. Mechanisms whined as the belts of ammunition began to feed back into the enormous magazines that were mounted onto the docking transports as workers began to fold the munitions correctly for packing. The CORCORD crowd relaxed, a sea of smug faces as they gloated upon their enforcement of CONCORD law. The little station manager looked especially pleased with himself, giving Terron a look of triumph as he began to release yet another lecture on the proper loading practices of visiting vessels to his station…
…When the tidal wave struck.
A wall of mixed foul smelling coolant and globs of viscous cleaning fluid surged from the barrel of the turret, slamming into the crowd of shocked CONCORD employees that were scrambling for cover. The offical was blown clear off his feet and was sent hurtling with the flood of discharge, spluttering and flailing as he crested the wave surrounded by construction refuse. In the distance the ships AI chirped to inform that the emergency docking munitions clearing protocol was complete, as the last of the unfortunate individuals slipped and dragged themselves clear from the now collected pool of mess. A chorus of hundreds of elated voices rolled throughout the docking bay as the construction crew, slave and servicemen alike, ceased their work to point and laugh at the unfortunate inspection team. Whoops and jeers commenced as the now soaking wet official, covered in a generous coating of white mucus waved his arms in anger at the Amarrians, cursing in language that is better left un-described.
“Back to work lads, lets leave ‘em to it” shouted Terron as the observant and cheering mob began to return to their areas of work. “We done our bit fer politics, now lets get this thing running.”
He wondered how he would explain this to the captain, oh well, should be interesting anyway. he always thought that going to a shipyard contractor in Yulai was not a particularily great idea, but in light of the production costs and the minerals involved it was the only option to get a vessel of this class into service. He had a funny feeling that this little drama might throw his application to become a permanent crew member into question, but at least he got to half drown a Gallente in waste.
Quite fitting he thought really.