This is the diary & short stories of Shalee Lianne Cerra, in the fictitious universe, New Eden, in the game of Eve Online. Come be a part of her world...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Entry Twenty Five: Losing Halmah

Occupancy: Amarr Empire
Sovereignty: Amarr Empire
Constellation: Vaarma
Region: The BleakLands
Security Level: 0.4

The punisher broke through the atmosphere of Sosala and made an emergency landing a few moments later.

Flames licked along the hull, sending plumes of dark grey smoke curling up into the stormy sky.

She exited the ship and started walking, leaving the small crew behind to deal with the situation, knowing that a few cycles of the armor rep would repair what had been damaged after they got the fire under control.

It wasn't that she really had to land, they would have been alright in space, she could have jumped between a few safe spots and gotten everything under control well enough to get back into the fight.

The war was the problem. She needed a break from it.

Since the state of emergency had been issued, she'd been in the pod more often than not, using mild stims to keep her going.

And now she was on the brink of exhaustion and burn out. She needed a moment away from it all, a few minutes to herself to simply walk and breath air that wasn't processed through a filter, to listen to the sounds of nature and not have the constant chattering of the militia and corporation comm-channels buzzing against her ear.

She inhaled slowly, savoring the heady scent of the field around her, thigh high grass, a scattering of trees, a pond nearby.It almost reminded her of Inis, and that made her think of Zenton. She'd barely had any time with him lately. Granted she seen him in the fight but no more than a few words had been exchanged over the comms.

But that was the way of war. Everything else simply had to take a backburner to the fight, it was part of being a militia capsuleer.

Of course she missed him, was almost tempted to message him and see if he were anywhere near the Sosala but she wouldn't distract him. He could be in combat, probably was. Everyone was.

Even her CEO, someone she had barely seen the first few months of joining the Praetoria, had done extensive patrols with her over the last few days. Every man counted, every pilot that could fly, was flying, no questions asked.

As sunlight faded beyond the horizon, she could make out a pathway that lead into the small village, lined with flame lit torches and small oil filled braziers.She followed it until she was on a cobblestoned street. A scattering of buildings lined each side and at the end, an old chapel made of rock. She made her way to it and stepped inside.

Sitting down on a pew in the back, she activated her handheld comm unit to record."I'm on Sosala, some random backwater planet in the Bleaklands. This place has never mattered to me before, never given it much thought but all of a sudden everything changes. Halmah falls to the Mimnmatars and suddenly every god damned planet and system in this Empire means everything."

"Halmah. They stole it right out from beneath our noses. We didn't even know it was about to fall until the last half hour of it's sovereignty. Veshta Yoshida reported it vunerable and then bam, desperate calls were made over the comm channels in a last ditch effort to save it. Our militia did it's best. Every pilot from all over poured into Halmah but it was an impossible effort, the odds were stacked against us."

"Those of us with scanners equipped were sent into nearby systems, hoping we could force some plexes to open in Halmah. As we were counting down the clocks elsewhere, Halmah fell. Just like that, it fell and our militia fleet couldn't even put up a fight in response. The enemy had three times our numbers in bigger ships. Over the comms, orders were to retreat."

"As everyone was pulling out, the militia did manage to get a few enemy stragglers but that did little to booster morale. We lost a system and the collective opinion was that Halmah would just be the first of many."

"Since then we've stepped up patrols trying to secure our systems but we are met with opposition on every front. Not only are we fighting against the Minmatars, but the Praetorians have been declared war on by another corporation, Star Faction. They are everywhere, taking advantage of our war efforts, attacking us when were are vunerable."

"And if that isn't enough to worry about, we have pirates coming out of the woodwork to get in on the fight. The sons-of-bitches are everywhere."

"No place is safe."

"I wish I had more experience, I wish I could make more of a difference. I've lost more ships over the last three days than I have in the last three months. Despite this, my CEO has been very encouraging. I am glad for these opportunities to fly with him, though at the same time I'm often quite embarassed by my lack of skill. I've watched him take down several enemies at once while I often falter and lose a punisher because of it."

She fell silent for a long while, letting her thoughts drift over the many battles she'd seen over the last week or so. "They say Kurnianen is vunerable."

She shook her head "We are determined to keep it, despite their superior numbers, despite everything, we are determined to hold them back. We are determined to prevail no matter what it takes."

Rubbing her hands across her face, her lashes fluttered several times as she fought off sleep. Stretching out across the pew, she clicked the recording off then propped her head up on her arm, using it as a pillow. A few stolen moments of sleep while her ship was being repaired then she'd get back out there to fight a war that she once didn't believe in, a war that now meant everything to her.

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