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    Tough Scrapes and Close Calls by Constantin Baracca

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    Lunarisse Aspenstar

    Posts : 826
    Join date : 2013-11-20
    Location : Nahyeen, Kor-Azor Region

    Tough Scrapes and Close Calls by Constantin Baracca

    Post by Lunarisse Aspenstar on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:48 pm

    (posted with permission)

    First Story:

    Too often, I think we, as capsuleers, forget we have more in common than we are different. Something I have learned from my travels is that capsuleers always have great stories about cheating death. I thought we could share some!

    My closest call came before I was a capsuleer, and indeed had I died that day I would have never known any of you. I was a bishop in my parish on Amarr, but I did have foreign duties. I was on my way in a family cruiser to meet a delegation to the Theology Council to attend a meeting on an addendum to the Book of Missions. The purpose of my journey is hardly important. What is important is that I was to transfer to a battleship convoy deep in Hedion to complete my journey.

    Things started off well. We met the convoy, a battleship and a pair of destroyers, right on schedule and at the correct location. They sent us the proper codes and the DNA check revealed the pilots to be who they said they were. The battleship's captain followed all the correct protocols. Right when I had collected my luggage, though, he sent words that, to this day, chill me to the spine.

    "Please tell Father Baracca to wait in the shuttle bay for us."

    I stopped. No one calls me Father Baracca. My family is almost entirely made up of clergymen. 'Father Baracca' could refer to well over a hundred individuals. This is rather common in Amarrian society, where sons follow fathers into their professions. Any Amarrian would know to call me Father Constantin. Instantly, I knew we were outgunned and in the sights of hostile intruders.

    I informed the crew, which spread general panic. A cruiser against a pair of destroyers and a battleship was hardly better than suicide, even that deep in our space. I offered to go regardless, to save the other men on the ship so that they could hopefully transmit for help when they had taken me. The ship's captain, to his credit, absolutely refused. We had mere minutes before my failure to transfer ships would become suspicious.

    I asked the captain to rig up a DNA transponder with my blood. In the same way the would-be kidnappers had used the pilots they had killed to assume their identities, I decided to use the same technique. We needed to disable the battleship somewhat urgently. We loaded all of the extra fuel onto the shuttle, rigged its engines to overcapacitate on command, and sent it over. I informed them, through a linked channel, that I was late because I was having navigational difficulties. I would need to be towed into the battleship.

    Things went according to our rather hasty plan for a time. They read my transponder, received my transmission, and began to tow me in. However, just as the shuttle was being towed into the bay, the battleship hailed me. It said it didn't detect me aboard. I must have fast-talked better than I ever had before, clearly impressing that I was aboard the ship, and that if they were having difficulty, perhaps we should call for another escort and shuttle.

    They relented and drew the shuttle into their bay. Once aboard, we detonated the shuttle remotely. Being inside the hull, the shuttle did heavy damage to the battleship's structure. We took advantage of the surprise to press the attack, but the shock of war soon vanished. We were on our own and we were set upon by the enemy.

    The fight took almost twenty minutes, our cruiser suffering heavy damage in the process. Luckily, the transgressors turned out to be Matari terrorists rather than the local terrorists I had become accustomed to. They had learned to fly our ships and spent a great deal of time stealing our codes and protocols, but did not have the finesse of a native laser user. To their credit, even when the battleship was destroyed (soon after the shuttle had crippled it), the destroyers fought on. They nearly had us, and seven of our crew died when the hull took heavy damage. I sustained a burn myself when a relay blew while I was attempting to take over for a dead targetting crewman.

    We survived, though. We limped to the nearest station and reported the events. An investigation ensued and I missed the conference. To be honest, I was only thankful to be alive. It reinvigorated my faith, knowing that men like that cruiser crew were ready to die rather than allow me to sacrifice myself first at their expense.

    I've had many closer calls as a capsuleer, but none more dangerous than the one which could have ended my journey permanently.

    I'm sure you've all been near death or had to overcome overwhelming circumstances and we all love a good story.

    I'll pour us all a round of cognac for story time.

    (Source with comments: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=3569421#post3569421)
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    Lunarisse Aspenstar

    Posts : 826
    Join date : 2013-11-20
    Location : Nahyeen, Kor-Azor Region

    Re: Tough Scrapes and Close Calls by Constantin Baracca

    Post by Lunarisse Aspenstar on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:53 pm

    Second Story:

    Ahhh, the character of good cognac though. I think another tale is in order.

    One of my Matari brethren found himself in dire need of extraction. Apparently, his faith had become known in his native land and he needed to move to a more tolerant part of the Republic. I understand that he did not want to return to the Empire, though he considered it. He thought it would be cowardly both to leave his tribal people and abandon his opportunity to follow the Word in Minmatar lands. Truly, a man in need of help.

    I had no idea how much help he needed at the time.

    I was flying a frigate, my favorite interceptor, the Shannon's Song. As I emerged at his rendezvous point, I found myself face to face, so to speak, with a Republic battleship. One of the more interesting parts of my career. I was informed of the situation.

    The Minmatar Republic may not exactly have good relations with my people or any of their ideas, but they do, to their credit, value their people's freedom enough that they did not think this Matari preacher should be killed over his belief in God. The Republic's gunship had arrived at the scene of a disturbance and found that my brother, as well as ten more brethren he had brought into the faith, were now being held in a derelict isogen station. Apparently, it was meant to be the scene of their execution, but the arrival of the gunship had stopped them. Rather than come out or release the prisoners, the Matari had found themselves in a strange hostage situation.

    I think my arrival was somehow the unpredicted factor.

    I took some time to explain my situation, as they were understandably skeptical as to why I had come. However, I do not think the captain and crew of that battleship really wanted to fire on those aboard the station, especially considering their hostages were likewise still their people.

    I proposed a solution, which the captain offered the men aboard the station as a compromise. Trade the Matari hostages for a real Amarrian priest. The battleship could then see to the health and safety of my brethren, and the men on the station could have a member of my faith they could truly hate.

    Luckily, they agreed. I had almost feared they would see me as a step down that the Minmatar Navy would hardly care about vaporizing. I must have been a tempting target indeed, for they agreed to a trade.

    I flew over in my pod and exited. Finding me unarmed, my new captors followed their end of the bargain, releasing my friend and his small congregation. The look he gave me said everything I needed to know about my new situation. He was grateful and saddened, horrified even. He did not think I would leave that station.

    As they collected their people, the battleship left. Obviously, they did not care what happened to some fool Amarr at the hands of an unruly mob. Especially one that was never heard from again.

    I would say I have had more hospitable stays. I was struck several times with rifle butts and dragged to a piece of central scaffold. I was bound there with electrical cable and was able to finally take stock of my captors. There appeared to be ten of them (I later learned most of the rest had fled before the battleship had arrived). They began interrogating me, asking me questions about who I was and where I had come from in the Empire. They asked why I was there, if I had any plans for escape. I think it quite shocked them to learn I had come to transport the small flock out of harm's way and had no plans for escaping.

    Not immediate plans, at any rate.

    The men began speaking among themselves, trying to decide what best to do with me. It had become quite a lively debate about whether to ransom me back to the Empire or to just kill me on the spot. Some of the schemes they concocted there were fairly chilling, even to a man who has seen as much death as I have. I particularly remember the plan to skin me alive and mail it back to my home address.

    Regardless of their plans, I had no intention of being a willing participant. I may not be much in the way of a warrior, but I do not think they realized what sort of training I had received in an Imperial Academy. I tested my bonds quietly, and found the wire to be quite impregnable. I suppose I could have cut my hands off at the wrist, but otherwise my arms were bound. My legs, however, were not.

    Careful not to make too much noise, I slipped off my boots. With a bit of toe dexterity, I began shimmying my way up the X shaped scaffold. The debate down below grew more heated, and began to attract all of their attention. Sliding up the scaffold brought my hands closer and closer together, to where the beams crossed. With my hands together, I began to unbind myself.

    I was finally beginning to release myself when one of my captors finally bothered to look at where I was. He looked up, saw me, and immediately laughed. He nudged his fellows, all of whom looked up at me with some amusement. I suppose they thought my actions were futile, and did not realize I had just freed myself. From ten feet on high, I launched myself towards the nearest of them.

    I do not recall expecting to live or worrying about death. I only recall thinking as logically as I could. The man I landed on was certainly stunned, and I was able to wrest his rifle from him. Turning it on the rest, I fired a stream of projectiles in their direction. Three were killed where they were, and however many else were hit, I never learned. I immediately moved behind the scaffold for cover. When I spun around, I caught one unawares and was able to kill him. Rounds ricocheted off my cover and I knew I could not win outright.

    Instead, I unleashed the rest of my fire towards them and ran for my pod. Upon realizing what I was doing, bullets followed me. I felt a pinch in my shoulder, then in my back. I knew I was going to die, but managed to dive into my pod and activate my sequencer.

    must have activated it just in time. I awoke in a new clone, looking down at my new body. My log revealed I had survived a mere two seconds beyond the sequence finishing. Just enough to transmit my dying brainwaves to my resident medical facility.

    In the end, my brethren were relocated to a colony in Embod. I took the time to visit them afterwards, and they were most grateful and most gracious. They live in a small farming community, growing with converts slowly every day. They did not have much, but what they had they were perfectly willing to share. I still stop by for some of their exceptional biscuits.

    The men who killed me returned to their homes, obviously in no mood to follow my trail of clones. The Minmatar were not happy about the men I had killed, but hardly could justify being angry at me.

    In the end, all worked out for the best.

    Two seconds, though...

    (Source: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=3579112#post3579112 and https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=3579132#post3579132)
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    Lunarisse Aspenstar

    Posts : 826
    Join date : 2013-11-20
    Location : Nahyeen, Kor-Azor Region

    Re: Tough Scrapes and Close Calls by Constantin Baracca

    Post by Lunarisse Aspenstar on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:53 pm

    Third Story:

    A few weeks ago, I was ministering in Caldari space. I met a gorgeous woman deep in their territory, at a bar in New Caldari. To make a long story short, we had a thoroughly invigorating theological and philosophical debate, she took me back to her station apartments for a more thorough investigation, she saw to my spiritual growth and I introduced her to the concept of the second coming of the Amarr. One of my more entertaining trips into Corporate space, whose brandy I must say I have become partial to since. It does stir up such entertaining memories.

    The point was that after some hours of her company, the apartments opened. Apparently, we had been so vigorous in our examination that she had failed to mention that she was affianced. To a freighter pilot formerly of the Navy. I have to say, standing exposed as we both were, he did not seem quite interested in our attempts to rationalize the situation to him. Instead, he drew a pistol and aimed it at me.

    Well, if the Lord had asked me a moment later if I remembered the sins and triumphs of my life, I would have been able to very accurately recall them. Standing near nothing but their closet, I jumped in and shut the door.

    People sometimes wonder why I believe in God and the intervention of the divine. I think, in the end, I've simply seen miracles of the universe and I've not rationally explained them. In the end, I suppose it is entirely possible, given the myriad factors involved, that a Caldari man an empty a high-caliber pistol into a closet and not hit the rather tall and, if I may say so, muscular man within. But what are the odds? Clearly, I had a higher purpose to attend, or I wouldn't have even made the local news report as a man shot during a jealous lover's quarrel.

    I distinctly remember wood splintering and a round grazing my temple. One passed between my legs and one I could have sworn I felt in the palm of my hand. As the pistol went empty, the room went quiet. All I could hear was his angry breathing, and then the poor girl's whimpering.

    It was almost worth the experience to step out of the closet and look at the shock on their faces. For a few seconds, I must have radiated the awe of the Lord.

    At least, I did until he reached for his second magazine.

    I shoved him back as hard as I could over the bed. He dropped the magazine, but not the pistol. Deciding that God's blessings only go so far to saving a man from a scorned lover, I grabbed the magazine, ran outside, threw it down the hall, and ran in the opposite direction towards the station hangar. In the end, I suppose I wasn't sure if he would try to chase me barehanded, but as I rounded a corner at the end of the hall, a bullet ricocheted off the bulkhead above. I suppose he had no desire to face me barehanded.

    Given the circumstances, I suppose I cannot blame the deck guards for not jumping in at the time. To see a naked Amarrian rounding bends, being hotly pursued by a Caldari freighter with a navy issue pistol, in turn being chased by his stunning and naked fiancee is probably uncommon. However, after a few minutes, we did have a trail of station guards joining the train. It was some miracle that I made it to the hanger.

    For once, I was glad to have left my clothes behind. I hate swiftly docking and having to worry about disrobing or docking while clothed. The former is frustrating and the latter feels repulsive. It was rather nice to be able to simply jump in and close the pod. I would have felt better during the sequencing procedure if I had not been able to hear the bullets bouncing off the pod.

    When I could see through the pod's sensors, I was nearly in my interceptor. The station guards had tackled my pursuer, but also seemed somewhat intent on stopping me from leaving.

    Perhaps someone better versed on Caldari law could explain to me what might have happened. Either way, I did see that angel at the doorway, who, being behind the guards now, waved me off the station in a rather emphatic way. I took, from her cues, that I did not want to stick around to learn the intricacies of whatever laws I had just broken. Thankfully, word had not gotten to the station manager of who I was yet, so I managed to undock before they had clamped my frigate or scrambled a chase squadron.

    I flew hard and fast to get out of that station, system, and constellation. I have no intention of fighting Caldari Navy officers. All credit to them, if I had stayed in-system, I'm fairly sure they would have found me.

    I've had words with the woman since, though I've never thought it worth directly mentioning and questioning her about. It rather spoils the mood of it all. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who saw the hand of God that day protecting me. She may not be a servant of God yet, but she is absolutely a believer, having witnessed that.

    I take a different lesson from the affair. Yes, I do believe I was saved by the hand of the Lord that day.

    I also believe that there is a time to gather up your pride and run for your life. There is no glory in flaunting the will of the divine in the face of an angry Caldari.

    (Source: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=3581577#post3581577)

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    Re: Tough Scrapes and Close Calls by Constantin Baracca

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