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The Book of Patches: Chapter 4

The Company Remains

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Recruits come and Recruits go, but The Company Remains. Whoever is reading these accounts will certainly know that I was good friends with a fellow Recruit, Emery. We were Recruits at the same time and we bonded pretty quickly. He even helped me with some ‘dirty work’ I had to take care of. Good guy he was. However, one day about a month ago, he disappeared. I began to wonder where he was, but as new Recruits and Conscripts came in I began to forget about his absence. The Brass, on the other hand, did not. I’m sad to say that good ‘ol Emery was dismissed from service. He was gone, but on a number of occasions, I swore I saw him slinking in the shadows around the Iron and Wine Cantina. Upon further investigation, no one was there. I thought that strange, but pushed those thoughts to the back of my head. I had other fish to fry.

Once again, I was down in the Medical Bay doing my medic stuff for The Company. Nothing serious today, and thank the gods for that. I did have one patient, a Recruit by the name of Davion Falcon. Good guy, funny as all hell, and a former Ground Combat Team member, like myself. We had a bit in common and upon his acceptance of Recruitment, he and I went on many a Patrol op with other members. He’s a damn good pilot and a damn funny person, to say the least. I digress. He showed up in my office complaining of a rash. I had no need to ask him where the rash was; something I had seen many times before with many other Company members. I gave him some strong anti-biotics and told him to stay away from the station whores. Whether he will heed my medical advice or not is a different story. Don’t get me wrong, the Company is glad that they now have a medic who knows what the hell he’s doing, but they’re stubborn bastards.

Once I had closed down the Medical Bay, I took a walk to my hangar in station to check up on my ships. I logged onto the computer and checked my inventory and was saddened at what I saw. I had lost a number of ships doing combat operations with the Company and my hangar certainly showed it. I checked my items inventory and noticed I was lacking there as well, so I logged onto the Company server and put in an items requisition report for Supply Division. I have to admit, if it weren’t for SD the Company would be at a standstill. To my knowledge (as miniscule as it is) we haven’t accepted any contracts yet, so there was really no solid source of income for us. That being said, Supply Division is a fuggin’ godsend.

Right after I had finished putting in my requisitions I heard a voice call my name, followed by boot steps on the metal catwalks. It was the good Standardbearer, yes Kingz himself. He apparently was checking his hangar as well and saw me putting in my requisitions. Kingz walked up to me and patted me on the back.

“Patches, get into a short range frigate, time now. Wait for oders from me in comms.” And with that, he walked back towards his hanger.

A few thoughts raced through my mind, I was really curious as to what I would be doing. Upon getting the word to undock and ‘find’ Kingz, I knew exactly what I was doing. He wanted a one on one fight, or so I thought. I began using my onboard scanner in my short range rifter and managed to scan him down to fifteen degrees. That was no good, I needed to get him down to five. Kingz began to get impatient with me and told me he was going to move to another location and that I had five minutes to find him before he moved to another location. Two minutes later he said he was going to shorten the time to three minutes before he moved out, as he was getting pretty impatient with me. I eventually found him, with a little advice on directional scanning from the Lieutenant, and warped to his position within range. I immediately began to engage him as he locked and engaged me. I managed to wipe out his shields pretty quickly with my EMP ammo and my 200mm Autocannons, but his armor was a bitch. He was armor tanking, for sure, and there was no way I was going to win that fight. I tried to get away and warp out, for he had my warp drive scrambled, but I couldn’t get out fast enough. He told me I had failed and to return to station, dock up and repair, and try again.

I knew what my weakness was or at least I thought I knew. I built up my shield tank some more and went out for another run with Kingz. Same scenario as before. He had begun to get extremely tired of me not using my head and had lost his patience with me. I had failed again, and this was no light matter. Kingz told me to dock up and try again and that if I fail again, he’s going to blow me to kingdom come. I was determined this time to take that son of a bitch down, but the same scenario that had happened twice so far happened a third time. Kingz collected what modules were still in working condition and told me he was going to hold onto them until I learn from my mistakes.  He then told me to dock up and wait for him on the flight deck. I knew what was coming.

Kingz docked up and started stomping in my direction with his authoritative walk. He was pissed. I stood at parade rest and was well prepared for the coming ass-chewing. “Virgil,” Shit. He only calls me that when he’s angry “what the fuck were you thinking out there? Why didn’t you run away? You didn’t even try to disengage and get out of there, despite the fact that I was heavily armor tanked. So what the hell were you doing?!”

At this point, I noticed the Lieutenant walking in our direction. Dammit. Two leaders chewing out a Brother. I took a quick look around to make sure there were no Recruits or Conscripts around. There was; Dav. The Lieutenant stopped near Kingz and listened intently to what he was saying and was waiting for my answer, along with Kingz. “No excuse SB.”

Kingz stepped closer. “Bullshit Virg’. Tell me what went wrong out there and what the hell was going through your mind.”

“You were armor tanked and there was no way I was going to break that tank and stay alive, but I went down fighting.”

“You went down. That’s the main flaw. You didn’t even attempt to escape. Why?”

“All due respects SB, but I do not give up. Never. I’m going to win, or go down fighting. Call me stubborn.”

The Lieutenant chimed in: “That’s the wrong answer Virg’. You’re going to need to work hard on getting rid of the stubborness. While I think the attitude of not giving up despite defeat is admirable, and I’m sure the SB would agree with me, you need to fix it. That was a senseless loss.”

Kingz joined in to finish the Lieutenant’s statement. “While I agree with the LT, I do have to say that that was a dumb mistake, Patches. You’re smart and for some reason you threw your intelligence out the window during our engagements. Do you have any idea why I told you to engage me?”

“To make me learn from my mistakes, SB.”

Kingz shook his head and smiled a wry smile. “No Patches. The point of the exercise was to see how you would act in close range under pressure. You buckled and broke. I never want to see that again, do you understand? From now until you get rid of your stubborness, you are to do these exercises with me. Day in and day out we will make you learn the hard way. Now, get the hell out of my sight. Oh, and I don’t want to see you in a long range Kestrel until I tell you that you can fly them again.”

With that, I snapped to attention and walked off towards the cantina. I needed a drink or two and needed to calm down. Having the Standardbearer and Lieutenant chew me out in public was embarrassing. Now, I wasn’t going to get my panties in a wad over this. Instead, I made it my perogative to fly nothing but short range Rifters and I was going to show both of them that I am flexible and can perform well under pressure. The bar-maid brought me my drink and I sucked it down in one thirst quenching gulp. I felt someone pat my back and I watched him walk in front of me and sit down.

“Rough day, Patches?” Davion chuckled.

“I don’t want to get into it mate. I saw you watching with that stupid smirk on your face. You must’ve enjoyed that huh?” I replied, signaling for the bar-maid to give me two more drinks.

“Enjoy it? A little. But I gotta’ say, I’m glad it was you and not me.” The bar-maid brought me the two drinks and I slid one towards Davion. He nodded in thanks and took a sip.

“Yeah, I bet you are, you salty bastard,” I let out a sigh and took a sip of my Whatnot, “so how’re things on your end?”

For the next hour or so, Davion and I shot the shit. We were joined by Skinny soon thereafter and a friendly game of Tonk ensued. Kingz burst into the cantina in quite the fury and grabbed the three of us. He told us to get to our frigates with haste, and we all ran to our respective hangars and boarded our boats. I had to try and start my Rifter four or five times to finally get her running. The Rifter could be a very reliable boat, but you wouldn’t believe it if you looked at it; damn Minmitar frigates are covered in rust and constructed with many different materials. I was suprised that they would hold up in combat, but they certainly hold their own.

Davion, Skinny and myself got word from Kingz that the Lieutenant had just lost a ship and that he was sent back to grab reinforcements. Apparently, Kingz, the Lieutenant, Recruit Drakknar and Brother Tiger took fire from a Harbinger on the Dal/Auga gate and after Kingz was sent to grab reinforcements, the Lieutenant and Tigs (Tiger for the sake of writing) wend down in a fiery ball of wrecakge. We headed out of station and I saw the most glorious sight I had ever seen: nine Company members heading out on this operation.

I checked my console and looked at who was in fleet with me: Captain, Lieutenant, Standarbearer Kingz, Staff Sergeant Xtra, Veteran Skinny, Brother Tiger, Recruit Davion, Recruit Drakknar and Conscript Vasniar. Hot damn, that was a sight to behold. Upon arrival to the war zone, the Lieutenant split the fleet up into two squads, with Bravo squad being the support squad. We patrolled what we thought was going to be active systems, only to be disappointed at the lack of war targets for us to engage.


Iskii Grimmer sat in his Wolf, a tech two assault frigate, waiting at the Auga gate in Kourmonen for any unlucky frigate to jump through. She had some fellow militia members in system and made sure his local channel was up and running, just in case she had to call for reinforcements. She began rechecking his scanner and picked up seven frigates at ranges uknown. A couple minutes later she checked again and saw them quickly approaching her position. Within seconds, the frigates came out of warp and began moving towards her. There was no way she was going to take on seven frigates by herself, so she jumped through the gate and held cloak.

Iskii called for support from friendly militia members and was told that they were on their way. Thirty seconds until his cloak ran out, he had to fall back on the gate to give him an out. Time’s up, he began to retreat back towards the gate and he saw a gate activation; no doubt the frigates jumping through to engage him.

The Wolf, as fast as it was, couldn’t make it to the gate in time before it was webified and her warp drive scrambled. She targeted as many of the frigates she could and began engaging them, as they began to fire on her.

“Backup! I need backup! Where the hell are you guys?! I’m being engaged by, ” Iskii checked her scanner to confirm “The Black Company! It’s the goddamn Black Company! I’m in twenty-five percent shields!”

Iskii saw a warp bubble open near her position and three ships jumped through. Three battlecruisers to support her and as soon as the battlecruisers entered the engagement, they started shooting down the frigates left and right….


“I’m taking damage! I’m in fifty percent armor!”

“Skinny! Get out! Get out now!” The Lieutenant was barking orders left and right, trying to hold the fleet together as they engaged the wolf. He saw a warp bubble open and three battlecruisers showed up and immediately began shooting down his fleet.

“I’m going down! That’s it, I’m out. Warping pod to safe spot!” Liuetenant down.

“Wolf got me! I’m out!” Tiger down.

“Shi-!” Skinny out.

“Drakk, hold that bastard down! Wolf is in twenty-five percent armor! Keep working at him!”  I said. I was watching our frigate fleet get blown to bits by this wolf and his support battlecruisers, and I would be damned if I didn’t at least take down the Wolf.

I began getting locked by the battlecruisers; I didn’t have much time to take this bastard down. I saw four missiles launch from Drakknar’s Kestrel and my autocannons were overheated, still blasting away. The Wolf was down to structure as Drakknar’s missiles made contact and my autocannons fired at the same time. The Wolf went up in a ball of flame.

“Patches! Get out now. Wolf is down, I repeat, Wolf is down. Get safe!” Drakknar was approaching warp speed as four heavy missiles made contact with his frigate. Drakknar went down and warped off to a safespot in his pod.

Warning sirens and red light began to blink in my cockpit. Heavy missiles were approaching fast and I was overheating my microwarpdrive to get out before they made contact. Too late. You know, getting blown up in a ship is a weird feeling. Everything goes white and your seat begins to close around you, forming your escape pod. It never feels like it’s fast enough; you feel the excruciating heat from the explosion and feel the life get sucked out of you right before you find yourself in your pod, floating in space.

That’s where I was, in my pod. I began to get locked by the battlecruisers, but their locking time was too slow. In microseconds I was warped to a safespot with the rest of the fleet. The Lieutenant told everyone to reship either at headquarters or in the nearby system of Rens. She also commended myself and Drakknar for taking down that Wolf, despite the insurmountable odds.

After we had all reshipped we continued our patrol. The fleet wound up in Siseide at a faction copmlex engaging a Maller. Bravo squad began the ECM tactics while Alpha squad began whittling away at his defenses. In no time, the Maller went down; mark another kill for The Black Company. The fleet was then moved to the Otelen gate in Huola for some logistical harrassment. We caught an Omen on the gate and used the same tactic as before to destroy him. Too easy. The Lieutenant made the call to return to base at own speed, and that was that.


Lungt slammed his fist into his table. “What?! Frigates managed to take you down, despite the backup that we had sent for?!”

Iskii gulped hard. “Roger sir. I managed to take down four-” Iskii was interrupted by a hand grasping her throat and was pushed up against a nearby wall.

“I gives two shits what you took down Grimmer! The point is, you failed to disengage and retreat. Instead you cost this corporation twenty-six million ISK, due to your incompetence!” Lungt squeezed Iskii’s neck hard.

“It’ll-” Iskii gasped for air “It won’t happen again.”

Lungt let go and watched Iskii fall to the floor, inhaling as much air as possible. “You’re goddamn right it won’t happen again. Get out of my sight.”

Iskii managed to stand up and stumbled to the door, walked out and shut it behind her. Lungt sat down behind his desk and sent out a mass message to his corporation members and his allies. He warned them of The Black Company. He told them that The Black Company was small and were only flying frigates at the time of the engagement, but that they are very skilled in the use of frigates. He finished the message by stating that any and all Black Company members are to be engaged and destroyed on site. They think they can just get away with this? Bah, I’ll be damned if I let that happen…

2 Responses to “The Book of Patches: Chapter 4”

  1. bastet says:

    Bubble Gum baby.

  2. Grayghostar says:

    Nice work, Patches. Keep at ‘er. Writing’s a harsh mistress. She takes and takes. But she gives oh so much back.

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