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Inspired by Images of EVE 3 Entry – Electric Rifter

August 21, 2011

This is my entry to the Inspired By Images Of Eve Competition 3. More details and links to all entrants can be found at Starfleet Comms.

Electric Rifter

The space was cold, and the stars burned anyways, creating a swirl of radiation and cold death to any who would stand unprotected against it. One thing stood, wearing a spaceship as its armor. The thing was perfectly still, having stopped over the asteroid colony.

This thing was a human. Its armor was a frigate of Minmatar design. To be more accurate, the Rifter.

The Rifter sat still in the expanse, and the pod-pilot inside turned her camera drones – the capsuleer’s eyes – towards an asteroid colony that was below her ship.

Well, she considered them to be below her anyways.

She was a capsuleer, and as such had no ties to gravity, or a family, or anything that didn’t warrant its need for her. She flew Minmatar ships not because of her ethnicity, but because of the feeling of freedom that the Minmatar held at the core of their beliefs. She was a Gallentean, but could never find herself in a slow slugger filled to the brim with drones. Why should the drones fly free and proud when that’s my job? She asked herself that question numerous times, always coming up with the answer of ‘They shouldn’t.’ She revved the engines up, and shot forward from an almost still frame. The idyllic asteroid colony below didn’t deserve to admire her for too long, she felt.

As she warmed the warp drive, she saw ships warp into the pocket. She froze, watching. They were two frigates and a destroyer. A bit of radio communication entered the local channel, and they seemed to ignore the lone Rifter. She turned on some of her music from the ship’s jukebox, and smiled as a trickle-in beat of high notes hit her eardrums as the electronica track began.

The destroyer, a Catalyst, opened fire at the asteroid colony and sent a single salvo of hybrid rounds into its shielding.

The first crunch of distortion bit her ears.

The frigates – a Merlin and an Executioner – moved in, orbiting the colony.

The music built up, and she locked the destroyer as its two companions began to twist around.

The bass stalled.

Her mind dropped just as it did, and a salvo of autocannon fire filled the emptiness.

The Catalyst’s shields flared, then popped.

The electric emotion ran through the circuits, and she heard the scream of surprise from the Catalyst’s pilot. His companions – who were trying to ransom the colony – were scrambling to cover her. She thought of the night on that colony, and of the raw emotion it had let her feel over the course of that one night. The music pounded her ears then, following her heartbeat in a desperate attempt to keep up. Now it was being streamed directly into her brain through the neural implants, and she felt herself stretch inside her pod.

The music was her heartbeat now.

She inhaled.

The thrusters kicked full blast, and a microwarpdrive activated. Her ship clocked in two kilometers a second, and sent her ship into a roll with a thought. The space filled with bullets around her, and in her pod her body danced to the beat in the same way her ship did. Her image on the communication channel in the neocom was of a flirtatious smirk, taken from a dance floor. She saw they were hailing her, and made that exact smirk.

“Who are you?” The Catalyst pilot shouted.

“This is our territory, little lady!” the Executioner spat.

The Merlin pilot was silent, and she recognized the face. He was someone she’d met before, and had done this exact dance with. He knew what was coming, and as the track stopped and restarted, the bass dropped again. With that, she spun around on a dime, and shot forward at full speed towards the Executioner. It scrambled to get out of collision range, but she opened up with the rockets and autocannons. The ship exploded in three salvos, and she ramped up in time to catch the capsule with a dumb-fired rocket while avoiding collision. As the pilot’s corpse froze, the fast beat stalled again, making a breath in her mind.

She locked the Merlin, and kicked on her warp disruptor. She would have him, but not now. The Merlin pilot activated his microwarpdrive, and began to mirror her moves. She wired the music into the communications channel, and she heard the gasp from the Catalyst pilot as the two dancers matched the beat with their twisting on-off orbit. They didn’t fire a shot, they didn’t even have each other locked.

Their dance was one of freedom, and of the fact that Death wouldn’t have either of them. She broke away when he did, and then spun around. The two charged once more, and she fired a salvo of rockets. He fired an entire salvo at her, and she spun to easily avoid them. He broke away as the shields popped, and he blinked out of sight in an almost immediate warp.

While they were dancing, he had been arranging a break-away point to line up to the nearest station. He was planning to split the moment he saw her on the local chat: she was something of a legend around this portion of Low-sec.

“What the Hell! What good are you?” the Catalyst screamed. She stopped her Rifter, and felt the music mask the targeting klaxons as he locked onto her. Why he didn’t do this earlier was beyond her.

She did an Immelman-turn, and was facing him. She fired all of her weapons at him, and she heard his scream of terror. The bullets impacted, igniting his armor instantly. She felt the beat move her, and she twisted the ship around to fire once more. This time, she didn’t fire just one salvo: she kept firing. The bullets poured out of her ship, filling the gap between the two metal titans.

As his ship exploded, she rammed through his pod with her ship; his pod was stuck in a vent of her ship’s front end. She moved to the station, which was putting several sentry turrets online. She cut her movement quickly, making the pod release into space. It floated, and turned. She locked it almost instantly, and held it in place with the warp disruptor. The last turret activated, and as the music ceased, so did his voice.

She spun around, and vanished. She was hitting the dance floors within that hour, and would never stop because she had moves to kill.

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