It had never been done before in all of New Eden. It was unprecedented. It was impossible. Or so said Aura, the Amarrian Inquisitor, and the Concorde Officer who had made the connections System needed to reach the Ugandi Boliant ministry of Boosters and Stasis Tech on the Passari V – Moon 8 stationed at the Lai Dai Corporation Factory.
What System had proposed was a scheme to remove a capsuleer from a capsule, alive, in deep space, within one minute fifty eight seconds of them ejecting their capsule from their ship.
The CARTHUM JUBILEE CONFESSOR would be the bait prize to lure the Krusual capsuleer from her ship. The enticement would be seasoned for several weeks with rumors, false D-scans and brief glimpses of the one of a kind, prototype Confessor that had been gifted by Empress Jamyl the first, in YC111 to the Baud House, in honor for the Baud House’s role in working with the Empress’ Declaration Emancipation Decree.
The key to the whole plan was to find a way to get the capsule free of it’s current ship, bring it aboard an Orca in Null Sec and open it from the outside before it could self destruct. The self destruct program of all Jovian capsules had a hard wired two minute timer that upon completion would send the capsuleers conscience across the universe to a waiting clone, one moment before it destroyed itself.
The forty billion isk valued Confessor would supply the motivation to entice Arachne Daemon to eject her capsule from her Gila. Then a covert operation cloaked vessel would need to decloak, and point the capsule at the fastest speed possible, while a nearby Orca would need to decloak as well, lock, and pull the capsule into it’s ship’s hangar bay by tractor beam.
The last step would be to apply the stasis link deactivation module which would supposedly deactivate the self destruct protocols and open the capsule. All of this would have to be perfectly timed and executed within one minute and fifty eight seconds.
In one hundred and twenty years there had never been a reliable report of such a feat ever being accomplished.
This did not stop System from trying to orchestrate it all.
Amazingly, and with a little help from billions of isk in costs and incentives, everything was in order and waiting after seven weeks of preparation.
The Orca, and the Helios had been cloaked on grid for four days. The Confessor had warped 100 kilometers off the third asteroid belt near planet nine and was currently sitting 9000 meters dead center between the two cloaked vessels. System had ejected her pod from the Carthum’s sleek hull and had bounced off a nearby warp location, bookmarked in Aura, landing 8700 metres off the cloaked Orca.
She was at her most vulnerable state, alone in her pod waiting.
The idea, if the disinformation and rumors had made it to the Krusual capsuleers ears, was to appear helpless, in space, too far from the very expensive ‘Blingy’ Confessor so that when Arachne Daemon warped to the abandon ship, the plan could be sprung.
If the critically enhanced capsuleer in the Helios was unable to decloak, lock, and snare the Krusual’s capsule before she was able to warp away or board the Reni Brahk, then the plan would implode, with great loss, and the possibility that System would never be able to get close to her prey again.
“Capitan,” Aura spoke into System’s mind, “D-scan shows a Gila class vessel 13.9 au and closing from planet three.”
System had uninstalled ALLISON two weeks ago from her pod as to bypass any direct documentation of the possibly Signal Cartel creedo violating acts that were to follow.
The three capsuleers, two in cloaked vessels, held their breath, as much as any capsuleer was able to while submersed in their pods hydrostatic gel. Their bodies naturally increased adrenaline output heightening their senses and dilated time, seemingly slowing down the moments that followed.
The Gila, blazing in a red Super Kerr induced nanocoating, ‘woop’ and ‘thumped’, landed on grid around ten kilometres from the floating lifeless Confessor. As manipulated, she had warped from planet three, landing her safely at a ‘T’ from the two cloaked vessels, leaving their cloaks intact.
The Gila seemed to drift slowly after landing, not immediately engaging her subwarp engines, as if it’s pilot was making a critical decision, which she was.
Probing D-scan pings could be registered as she reached out around her looking for ships that were warping in. Apparently satisfied, the Gila lunges forward toward the Confessor.
Possibly her mind clouded with the billions of isk in prize, the Gila pilot never stopped to consider why the pilot of the Confessor had ejected and was so far from their ship.
System engaged her capsule toward the Confessor as well, at that moment, feigning an attempt to re board her ship. This, as planned, hastened the Gila pilot to engage her micro warp drive, barreling toward the floundering ship at a high rate of speed.
This was to the snares advantage as when the capsule ejected from the Gila, it’s momentum carried it past the docking perimeter of the Confessor, but still closer than System’s Pod.
“Now!” System commanded across the comm channels to the Helios and the Orca.
With a shimmering crackle the Helios decloaked and immediately began locking the Krusual pilot’s pod.
Then as the pod turned to align and warp out, the warp disruption ribbons stretched out from the Helios, disabling its ability to leave. The one hundred and fifty million isk price System had paid for the Republic Fleet Warp Disruptor to the shady salesman in Ren had fulfilled its value.
Now time was the essence of success.
The Orca decloaked, it’s large frame casting a shadow across the tiny pod and Helios.
The locking claxon could be heard simultaneously by its captain as well as by the Krusual pilot in her pod. If she had not yet started the self destruct protocols, she will have by now.
Time slowed as the behemoth Orca continued to probe, scan, stretching out to lock onto the capsule.
Then ‘snick’ the lock clicked in, followed instantly by a purple beam stretching out and engulfing the tiny vessel.
The large ship then began to pull the pod across the void of space and into its hangar bay.
System engaged her pod subwarp engine and coasted toward the Orca as well.
She felt apprehensive, and nervous. She had a sense of impending doom with a side of destiny. Her emotional turmoil boiled as she tried to calm herself. Was it going to happen? Was this going to succeed? Would anyone ever believe her? Did it matter?
So many questions.
Her pod floated into the Orca’s ships bay and gently landed on the pod capsule platform.
The pod separated and open itself, her virtual HUD dimming as the light from the hangar flooded into her eyes.
System stepped forth naked from the capsule, dripping and shivering, from the transition out of the pod goo and into the cold hangar atmosphere.
She looked over to where the other capsule was now sitting, still glowing from the stasis module that had deactivated it’s self destruction protocol. Another risky isk investment that has now paid off.
“Aura, please signal the Helios to dock on the Osirus and then have her pilot board the Reni Brahk and engaged it’s cloak after reaching the safe coordinates romeo alpha tango whiskey six. Also, after said pilot leaves the Osirus, engage the cloak and then set her adrift away from the nearby asteroid belt. For now we will leave the Gila adrift.”
“Yes captain.” came Aura’s reply.
“Aura, please check local transponders. Are their any unidentified new signature inside the star system?”
“No captain,” she said, “The only signatures in system are you, the Osirus pilot, the pilot of the Helios, and the cloaked pilot in the Anathema perched on the only stargate out.”
“Is the capsuleer Arachne Daemon’s transponder still showing in system?” she asked Aura, double checking.
“No Captain,” came the responds, “The only signature of Arachne Daemon are her life signs in the capsule adjacent to your position.”
System signaled the stasis module through her neural link to force the capsule to open and release the captured capsuleer.
The snare complete and successful, it was now time to confront the final member, and leader of the band that had killed her parents.
It was now time for Amarrian justice, purification, and vengeance.
It was now time for System to re balance her part of the universe.