EVE Online - Novel Excerpt (EVE: The Empyrean Age)
The folks at CCP have provided us with this excerpt from the upcoming EVE Online novel by Tony Gonzales. The book itself will be available starting on June 19th.
Lonetrek Region - Minnen Constellation The Piak System, Planet III Sovereignty of the Caldari State
Currents of black water were starting to run down the gulleys on both sides of the street, washing away the accumulated soot deposited there by the factory looming in the distance. The mistlike rain, partly produced by terraformers half a continent away, was scheduled to last for weeks to come. A layer of heavy smog hung just over the heads of the people marching through the muck, beside the tracks of a decrepit transportation system that was falling into ruin.
They emerged from a vast area filled with metallic housing structures that provided shelter, warmth, and little else. There were rows upon rows of these spartan living spaces filling a rock basin dozens of kilometers across, surrounding the Caldari Constructions Armor Forge at its heart. One of several industrial mega-complexes owned and operated by the corporation, the factory manufactured the composite alloys used to build everything from hand-held tools to a capital ship's heavy armor plating, often forcing its workers to operate their equipment under perilous conditions.
On a clear day the corporation's space elevator complex was visible, perched high atop the ridge encircling the basin. Giant cargo containers descended gently from the clouds, supported by carbon nanotube cables which stretched all the way up into space and ended at an orbital dockyard where starships offloaded raw ore mined from asteroids and loaded finished products. There were ten cables in all, each transporting heavy materials up and down from the sky all day, every day, with the meticulous timing of a corporation striving to meet demanding production schedules.
Opposite the elevators, on the far side of the basin, were the corporate overseers of this vast machine. Luxurious domed housing structures filled with exotic plants and stocked with every conceivable amenity associated with comfort and pleasure lined the basin ridge, and contrasted sharply with the dirty shanties far below. This was where the corporate executives made their residences, the managers and foremen of the mechanical symphony playing below. They traveled to work in hovercars, their boots never once touching the filthy ground during their quick journeys to the Armor Forge. Drawing the occasional glance from a weary worker, they sped past the crowds of people trudging on to another day's toil for another meager paycheck.
The streets filled quickly as the morning shift shuffled past the returning night crews.Most of the men and women walked with their shoulders hunched against the cold, the rain, and their bonenumbing fatigue. But today there was something different about the crowd. Here and there, some of these plebeians marched with straight backs and deadpan resolve, as if they knew that this day would stand apart from all the others.
One man walked among them with a heavy limp, and his name was Tibus Heth.
The hovercar slipped around boulders and ravines with effortless grace, zipping down the steep rock face of the basin and leveling off over the harsh terrain below.
What a grim day, Altug thought to himself, slowing the vehicle down. The rain was steady now, leaving dark streaks on the windshield as droplets rolled down the glass. Sensors probing ahead of the vehicle found the western edge of the “Shallows”, the nickname of the vast housing complex the corporation provided for its Armor Forge workers. The long avenues carved through it led to the western gate, about five kilometers ahead. The vehicle gently came to a hover about a meter above the ground and started down the road, traveling slowly due to the reduced visibility.
Altug could see some of the workers returning to the tiny shelters, some of which were right next to a derelict rail station. Poor bastards, he thought. It's a shame we had to cut funding for the rail system, but the margins just aren't as healthy as they used to be. As the hovercar approached the gate, the smog cleared enough to catch sight of the two sentry towers facing the west. Those will be the next cuts, he thought, momentarily distracted by the pronounced limp of a worker as the car passed by. No need to pay people just to sit up there all day doing nothing when–A loud thud startled him as the windshield's view was suddenly obscured with a worker lying horizontally across it. Panicking, he squeezed the brakes, forcing the hovercar to a sudden stop; the victim was thrown, rolling twice in the mud before coming to rest. Altug was shocked, and instinctively glanced up towards the towers. Both were obscured from view by the smog again. Cursing to himself, he unlocked the doors to step outside. But as they slid open he felt several sets of hands force him back into the vehicle. Then the hovercar's doors were forced shut.
“Good morning,” a voice said, startling him again. The worker with the limp was sitting right beside him. “Altug Borascus, yes?” “What the hell are you doing in my-” The man jabbed something into his side, sending a wave of excruciating, paralyzing pain through his limbs. As soon as he removed it, the pain stopped.
Excerpt from EVE: The Empyrean Age by Tony Gonzales
If you liked what you read takea look at the following locations for a copy:
Online amazon.co.uk PLAY.com Waterstone's The Book Depository Offline The Waterstones book chain The Borders book chain The Forbidden Planet chain WH Smiths shops (Some will have the book, but not all) Independant book shops may not have the book in stock but they will be able to order it. The book will become available as an export title from in various markets. *Please note that this is centered mostly around the UK, however the online stores will deliver outside the UK.