Clone bay 312304A, Krusual Tribe Bureau Station, Hek IV, Metropolis
He had expected the blackout and the searing heat as his capsule vaporized and the plasma within boiled away. What they didn’t tell you about was the blinding light and the splitting headache. He couldn’t even climb down from the clone vat – Medical personnel had to prop him up like an old drunk and support him until could get him to a recovery bed. The sensation of having a lifetime of knowledge smashed into your head in an instant was not a pleasant one, nor was the jolt of suddenly inhabiting another body light years away. It was the price to pay, however, and better by a long shot than permanent death.
There had been something amazingly liberating about flying the Castor in a gang of numerous frigates. As they piled into and out of systems in unison, the systems cleared out and only a few heavy ships – mostly battleships and battlecruisers – waited patiently and quietly for the horde to pass. They blew through low security space – something that had always given Rhavas pause to even enter before was nearly effortless to pass through in a group like this.
Before he knew it, they were in nullsec space – lawless country, ruled by whoever had the biggest gun and the most friends. The FC was new, as most of them were. And all of the pilots expected the worst, but there was no training like real experience, and all of them were hungry for it.
Deep in the heart of Curse, two Stabbers sat silently on the edge of a gate, and the FC gave the attack order. The guns of the frigate pack hammered into the larger ships, but the Stabbers made the jump out. Rhavas and the others had punched through seconds later.
The haunting blue glow had at first made no sense to Rhavas. As the sensor data came in, though, he began to understand his situation. He sat 15 Km from the exit gate, deep in the heart of a warp bubble – which he had heard of, but never seen. Indeed, even though the ship was motionless, he could tell that the warp drive’s power had died and was effectively useless. A horde of cruisers bearing the logo of the Southern Cross Trilogy awaited them as well. Trapped, the FC did the only thing he could – ordered the attack.
Rhavas barely had time to align to the target before the Hurricane Battlecruiser’s missiles obliterated the Castor‘s shield and armor. Rhavas desperately steered the crippled frigate toward the edge of the bubble. That’s when he noticed the readout – another target coming behind him, almost as fast as a missile. By the time he realized it was a Warrior II anti-frigate drone, the ship had disintegrated around him.
This time, the pod’s escape capability was not good enough. The warp bubble held the slow capsule from escape, and Rhavas’ last sensation before waking up in Hek had been the horror of explosive decompression as the Hurricane’s massive autocannon rounds tore through the pod.