The fox goes round

A single defender is on the Astrahus. Alone, he faces superior strength. PR.BL has gained sovereignty over the wormhole, they control all entries. The wormhole system has become a trap. No one can help Useless Idea and the pilots of Useless Idea cannot escape. They are running out of ideas.

More than thirty ships are calmly orbiting around the Astrahus. Their weapons fire incessantly, but to no avail. The damage scratches the Absolutions armor, but cannot seriously damage them. The Absolutions guns, however, fire one laser beam after another at the Astrahus shields. Glowing shields that cannot withstand the strain for much longer.

The activity in the fleet channel of PR.BL moves with the charging status of the stations shield. It is decreasing. There was hope for a fight, for motivated resistance. Instead, lasers discharge into the shield undisturbed. It seems like a spectacle of light. Quiet, relaxing, almost peaceful. Meditative. Boring.

eXeler0n is jolted out of his trance. His Neocom flashes frantically. A message request from outside the usual channels. Direct connection. Unusual.

Ashley Traynor wants to speak to him. She is the CEO of the Outfoxed Alliance. A rather small alliance, which rarely takes part in major disputes. As an attacker, virtually never. eXeler0n just occasionally had contact with Ashy, they are more like casual acquaintances.

“Ashy, what can I do for you?” With this message, he accepts the request. The timing cannot be a coincidence for him. While he and his alliance attack the Useless Idea’s stations. He is tense.

“Hey eXe! What are you doing here? Are you at war with Useless Idea, or why are you shooting at their stations?” comes the prompt reply. Instinctively, eXeler0n rotates his camera drones around the ship. He directs his vision to all corners of the system. In vain, of course. Ashy won’t just stand next to his fleet. At least not without cloaking. Or, yes, most likely with camouflage next to his fleet. Lurking. Assessing. Observing.

A prickle on the back of your neck that never quite goes away, even after months of living in a wormhole. You are aware that you can be watched at any time by a capsule pilot in his cloaked ship. You get used to it, but you never completely shake off the unease. An unease that also gives you a thrill. A certain fear despite the immortality. One feels vulnerable again, one feels alive. As far as one can use this term for a person who has already died hundreds of deaths.

eXeler0n himself is not fully enlightened as to why PARABELLUM launched an attack against Useless Idea. It has not mattered to him until now. PR.BL needs no justification for an attack. The prospect of plentiful loot is motivation enough. The chance of good fights a welcome bonus. Better a defeat with a good fight than a win with no fight.

Ashy’s questions cannot be fully answered by him. The what is obvious. Useless Idea is to be driven from their home, all stations destroyed and possessions appropriated. eXeler0n realises that over fifty pilots have come together to do this. Without deep justification, without a trigger. PR.BL calls to arms for the sake of struggle. The members do not just follow this call, they have longed for it.

In ancient myths, whose origin is unclear, a people is mentioned. A people who crossed the seas of their home planet to raid settlements, stealing the riches and beautiful women. Interestingly, they are never called pirates. They are just called Vikings and their behaviour is never depicted in a derogatory way. We are not Vikings, but our behaviour matches theirs. A group of battle-hungry warriors who are always on the lookout for settlements and good booty. The only difference is, that we don’t rob women. And we are immortal.

Unfortunately, eXeler0n cannot help by himself. He also lacks the authority to exchange details with Ashy. After a brief consultation with his CEO, he hands over the conversation to a diplomat.

The shield has collapsed in the meantime. The fleet aligns itself for a Raitaru. The same boring game with no opposition. eXeler0n, on the other hand, pays little attention to the attack. He hovers in his pod and ponders. Why is Ashy here? Why does she want to talk to our diplomat?

He smiles. The raid could get interesting after all.

This week there are various SKINs to be won again, mainly for the Raven. Write me a message in the game with the subject SKIN July. Please only send one entry per player. Be fair to your fellow players.

The title picture was provided by Ashy. You can find here blogpost about the eviction on her blog:  Stormy Skies Over J134716 » Ashy in Space

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