Monday, 30 November 2015

A Closed Gate

I was in Tash-Murkon doing missions for the House. I have no particular affinity for House Tash-Murkon although I do on the whole approve of their more tolerant attitude to life - in that respect, think of House T-M as a half-way House between House Khanid and House Sarum (what the next ruling lot will actually be like, only the granting of power after the Championships will tell).



What draws me here periodically is the desire to bathe in the hot bath of light from T-M Prime itself which paints a blue wash over everything in the system that I find rejuvenating somehow; along with the concurrent desire to face off against Sansha Kuvakei's minions who populate this sector in preference to the Covenant.

I brought Sid Vicious to this game and enjoyed taking down Succubi with a single shot, ending the torment of their occupants who allegedly make Amarrian slaves appear opinionated. My combat-mode datalogging recorded 'hit points' on Succubi in four figures once or twice, when the targeting geometry favoured it - when charging at them straight on (zero transverse velocity) and with Gleam S focusing the 100%-proof distilled power of the fusion reactor. To paraphrase something I saw on a holovid once, a light that burns twice as bright burns half as long and Gleam S burns so very brightly. With Gleam crystals, you have to be close enough to count rivets on Succubus hulls, but one shot is all it takes.

Imagine it: pure energy focused through the crystal and brought to bear with the turret, belittling shields, dismissing armour as an irrelevance and puncturing hull like the skin of a balloon. If an access corridor or gangway happens to be the other side of it, the focused beam will part the air in that corridor like a bolt of lightning - a shockwave will expand down that corridor at supersonic speed and kill anyone present long before any explosion, radiation, depressurisation or other trauma gets them. These gunnery implants I'm carrying in my head allow me to visualise like this and riff on it.

It's a beautiful thing.

I digress...

* * *

One of the missions the House sent me on brought me to a dormant, off-grid stargate of Minmatar template, right here in T-M Prime. I can't remember the exact details of the mission other than the gate being besieged by Sansha's Succubi and Phantasms, with crews all too strung out to recognise that the cloud of vented gas around the gate meant nobody was transiting through it any time soon.

This gate though, sitting there in a dormant state, was unexpectedly spellbinding.


The reason why is because there is never any time under normal operations for loitering at stargates in and around the mainstream network. There is absolutely no justification for hanging around them because to do so is to invite any number of dangers: being subjected to the attentions of either a gate-camp, CONCORD or gankers; being cargo-scanned by someone for future reference, being run-over by a decelerating freighter or just having your systems disrupted by the EM/graviton interference that manifests over your audio channels as that unholy choir you always hear when in close proximity - the signature of a power so great that it can reach down into the quantum foam of spacetime and pull open one of those bubbles big enough for you to pass through, into hyperspace, and back out again.




This Minmatar gate didn't make any sound at all. To paraphrase something else I heard once: you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

In being granted the leisure to look around this thing that can defy the laws of the universe (or could do, but has since been rendered inert for some reason), I discovered some aspects of stargate design that I hadn't fully appreciated before, including how damned big they are. 

The site was superficially well-defended and there was some power being supplied to the gate, but nothing moved and nothing twitched - there were no crew here. Maybe that Sansha blockade took them. In destroying those ships, maybe I killed them...




This stargate wasn't the work of Sansha's Nation despite them blockading it. This won't be the only clandestine stargate in the cluster either. There could be a whole sub-network of these things that operates under our noses. Unless the House gets hold of it, some other group is bound to come along and reactivate this thing.

Maybe [PHP1] should.

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