Chapter 1: CCP owns EVE Online, I own my Original Characters.
Waking up after a hefty blow to the head was never an enviable experience Daltfur Reglaasan mused, through the pain and blurriness, as he lay on the metal grating that passed for the deck aboard this vessel. He was flat on his back in a maintenance walkway of a privately held Thrasher class destroyer. A pretty face appeared above him, concerned and serious.
"Rayna?" He mumbled, his forehead throbbing excruciatingly. He would recognise the face of his mentor and fellow engineer even after waking from a 20 year coma. She smiled and laid a cooling hand on his head. Daltfur could hear and feel footsteps, falling in sync with the throbbing in his head, and sure enough the fuzzy white head of the Caldari doctor appeared next to Rayna's.
"Hmm... Looks like someone might have a bit of a concussion." The doctor said to Rayna.
Her soft Kahnid features made her look almost angelic to Daltfur in the dim yellow light of the passageway. The doctor helped Daltfur to his feet and held him steady as he staggered to a hover-stretcher. The medic started walking toward the infirmary and the stretcher followed him. Rayna clapped him on the shoulder as he walked past.
"Cheers Jerr." She said quietly before disappearing toward main engineering.
A short gurney ride later Daltfur was having molecular sutures to close the wound on his head. His pronounced, angular Civire features splotched with blood.
"Seriously Jerr, I was just making my usual run from the cargo hold to engineering," Daltfur said, looking up at the doctor. A bright surgical lamp was shining into his face, partially blinding him with its white light.
"I tripped over my own feet I think." He continued as the tiny medical assistance drone finished with the molecular stitches.
"A stupid lapse of concentration. Then I must have hit my head on a bulkhead support before Rayna found me." He sat up and felt the wound, or would have if there was a wound left to feel.
"Well apart from slight dizziness, which will pass, your're fine Mr Reglaasan." Jerr said, filling in a form on his console.
Daltfur looked at the timepiece on the wall; he had two and a half hours of his shift yet. He turned to leave.
"Thanks Doc." He said as the door whooshed shut behind him.
On the bridge of the ship, the captain was staring intently at a holographic projection of the system they were currently in. The XO was stood slightly behind him. Probe spheres were rotating as they scanned the system.
"GXG-5Y: what a shithole." The captain sighed. This was the fifth system he had entered today and there was still no luck with salvage, bounties or contraband smuggling.
"Sir!" a sensor operator piped up. "I'm picking up a stationary vessel from probe 3."
Captain Tserrahan Berhuvian, a rare individual in the fact that he is only 5 feet and 5 inches tall, weighs 43 Kilos and a Brutor Tribesman, became captain of the Little Fish nearly seven years ago, buying it from the dead previous owner's brother after being cast out of his family by his drunkard father who was ashamed that Tserrahan was his son.
"Verify that, we know what stationary ships can do." The XO chipped in. Marrke Esra was the ships second-in-command, a Gallentean dissenter and friend of Tserrahan.
"The probe checks out and the reading is still there." The young man at Sensor Ops stated.
"Captain, we can warp to a safe spot to get a closer look?" The helmsman offered.
"Do it, Konrad."
The panoramic windows of the bridge showed the perspective change as the ship banked to align with the warp tunnel forming ahead of it. Tserrahan liked the bridge being placed in an under-slung cupola as it gave an unobstructed view of the space around the ship. There was also an observation deck built into the cupola, behind the bridge, for this very reason however crew members that suffered from vertigo were usually absent from these areas. The Little Fish was pulled into the warp tunnel, distorting the panorama of space outside the windows. The inertial dampers kicked in with a thrum. Almost instantly the light-distorting properties of the warp tunnel dissipated and they were dropped from warp in the extreme upper atmosphere of a gas giant. A few gasps could be heard from a number of the bridge crew.
"We have arrived." The helmsman announced.
"Jerhan; status on the UFO." Marrke ordered sharply.
"Receiving telemetry from the probe, standby."
A few tense seconds passed before he spoke again.
"The vessel is adrift, looks like it has been disabled by unknown means. Its design is consistent with the Caldari Rokh class battleship however there are some extensive hull modifications. There are several large wrecks in vicinity of the Rokh." The operator concluded, his voice betraying the awe he felt at discovering such a trove.
"Helm, take us to her." The captain said quietly. The helm controls bleeped as they were manipulated and the Little Fish jumped into warp again. She emerged from the tunnel to a horrific scene. The hulk of the Rokh dominated the view. Her hull integrity was intact, however there several deep battle scars, a turret was shot from its mount and a long yet superficial gash ran along the starboard engine faring. There was an internal plasma leak filling the engineering and some living sections with lethal radiation. This ship had taken one hell of a beating. Around the Rokh were the hulks of several Raven class battleships, three Drake class battlecruisers and the gutted wreck of an Archangel Machariel battleship. One of the Ravens had been holed through with a round of a calibre of at least 850 millimetres.
"Life signs?" Tserrahan asked hoarsely, dumbstruck at the scale of destruction.
"None detected," Came the mute reply from the sensor station.
"Something is very wrong here..." Marrke muttered.
"Let's go to work." The captain clapped his hands. "Dock the Fish on the superstructure just aft of the fire-control tower."