It’s official! The Kickstarter is now live, and the Fountain War Book project is a go!
The rumors are true. I’ve been invited to write a military science fiction novel based on the computer game EVE Online. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this.
EVE is a fully-realized virtual universe… Nearly 8,000 unique star systems, swarming with asteroid belts, mining ships, research facilities, industrial complexes, pirates, and starships armed to the teeth. Imagine sweeping stellar empires, backstabbing politics, enormous fleets of warships, and battles of massive proportion.
Someone recently referred to EVE as “the largest collaborative work of science fiction in existence.” I’ve played the game, and I’ve seen what goes on there. That statement is not an exaggeration.
Below is the first sample piece I wrote for the project. If you like what you see, drop by our Kickstarter page.
It’s going to be amazing!
1 — REQUIEM FOR A TITAN (PRELUDE)
It was coming apart now. All of it… The plan… The months of careful preparation… The whole fucking thing…
Captain Darius Yaaah lowered his body into the pod, feeling the warmth of the semi-liquid amniotic gel enfold his limbs and torso. He gave a final encouraging nod to his bridge crew as the door of the armored capsule swung down to enclose him.
The interior of the pod was dark, but there was no need for lighting here. He wouldn’t be using his eyes to see.
With a series of muffled whines, the manipulator arms of the pod brought the slender interface cables into position, aligning platinum connector ends with matching jacks at the supraclavicular nerve bundle and five other key points in his cervical and thoracic spine.
Nano-fine connections mated, and the familiar ice water sensation rushed through Yaaah’s arms and legs as the mainframe’s neural interfaces synchronized with his central nervous system. The HUD projection unfolded itself in his brain, an ever-changing latticework of tactical symbols, tattletales, and sensor feeds, flickering and shifting in the blood-lit darkness behind his eyelids. Targeting data, engineering data, weapons statuses, crew reports, available power levels, heat loading, and a thousand other details.
This was usually the part he liked best—feeling two and a half million metric tons of Caldari Leviathan come alive—the enormous warship merging with his mind and his nerve endings—ready to jump the void between stars, or blaze into battle at the merest twitch of his whim.
That long-held pleasure was absent today. Soured by the knowledge that the whole situation was about to go to hell.
When it came (when the shit started to fly), even the massive armor and weaponry of his ship would not be enough to save him.
On the HUD, he could see last-second maneuvers as the fleet prepared for transition to hyperspace. Over fifty capital ships and supercaps, jockeying for position within the formation before jumping out of this star system to the midpoint cyno.
This was supposed to be a combat Op. The Imperium’s fleet sallying forth to rain havoc and destruction in some stellar system owned by the TEST Alliance.
But Yaaah knew that the mission brief was a sham. This entire fleet operation was a giant fucking trap, designed to lure a single ship to an ambush in the deep and trackless gulf of interstellar space.
The target was Yaaah himself. His ship too, but mostly Yaaah.
When the fleet came out of jump at the midpoint, every vessel in the formation would turn on him. More than fifty Dreadnoughts, Titans, Carriers, and Super-Carriers—all coming after his single Titan. Incalculable destructive power, focused on removing Yaaah and his ship from existence.
They knew. He had no idea how they’d found out, but after all of his caution and subterfuge, they had finally penetrated his cover. The bastards knew…
The Imperium’s intelligence branch had identified him for what he was: an infiltrator and a spy for Pandemic Legion.
Now it was time for the Imperium to plug their security leak. Eliminate the traitor in their midsts.
Yaaah had played the game well, but it was nearly over. He had, at best, a few moves left to make.
On the HUD he called up a window showing the bridge of his ship. His crew was practically vibrating with pre-combat jitters. Their faces wearing that strangely tense half-smile that signals the human body’s internal preparation for anticipated danger. Limbic systems ramping up for the coming fight with heady cocktails of dopamine, cortisol, and adrenalin.
His crew was expecting a battle, and they were going to get one. Just not the kind of battle they had in mind…