Yulai: Eye of the Storm
Gashtik Anfeld, an Amarrian trader who was about to dock at the CONCORD Bureau when the fleet arrived in system was still in a state of shock several hours after the event. His reaction has been a common one amongst the pilots and station inhabitants in the Yulai system.
“I’ve never seen, or felt anything like it. I was just there, about to dock. I had brought a cargo full of Silicates from Tash-Murkon, and was daydreaming, looking forward to meeting my friend, Yako Pertogi, and sharing a cup of tea after the long flight. I was waiting in the queue for docking acceptance, and then it happened.
“First of all, I thought I was under attack. The light, the sound; it was like nothing you’ve ever heard. I tried to shield my eyes, but I could see through my hands. I could actually see the bones in my hands. I thought it really was the end, then just as I started making my prayers, the shockwave hit my ship. The shockwave hit my ship and everything started to go crazy. My control console shook, my alarm panel lit up, and in my headset all my audible alarms went off at once.
“So there I am, seeing the bones in my hands, hearing my Bestower tear herself apart, feeling the ship moving sideways at over five hundred metres per second. Finally, though it seemed like an eternity had passed yet it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds, my camera drones came back online. The light had been so intense, so magnificent, it had caused them to close down completely; I guess they have some automatic function to prevent damage at high light levels. I’m not sure. Anyway, so my camera drones came back online, and I looked at the screen.
“I’m seeing all these swirls, these beautiful purple-pink swirls, blue swirls, hey, you know, like a vortex, and there’s like lightning, though it’s no lightning you would ever see on a planet, or yeh, nothing I have ever seen before. I’ve flown Bestowers for seventy years, and I thought I had seen it all. I’ve seen the static discharge from an Armageddon that’s just docked kill a man, and yeh, that was pretty intense, but this lightning, it was like the vengeance of God himself.
“I’m sat there thinking, well, I’m not really thinking anything at this stage; I’m just in awe of this, I’m sort of torn between thinking is this heaven? Is this hell? Like, I’m just in sensory overload and just as I am making sense of it all, or sort of gathering my senses to start my brain thinking, then they appear. They just appear.
“From nowhere. No, not nowhere. Out of the middle, aye, the centre, the whatever. Out of the eye of the storm, these ships appear. I’m not stupid, like I said, I’ve flown Bestowers for seventy years, and a Bestower is a pretty big ship. These ships that appear, they’re obscene. They’re just so big, it’s like well. Well, remember when you were young, when you saw your first Impairor? You thought that was big right. Then you see a bit of the universe, and yeh, you kind of get used to seeing Apocalypses and Armageddons. They’re big. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was as big as these things that just kind of appeared from this vortex. The guns. Heh, the guns. They were as big an Impairor. I mean it. I know you don’t believe me; these guns were as big as an Impairor. They’re as big as an Impairor, and they’re pointing at me. That’s right; well, not really, they’re pointing at the station, but, like, I’m in between these frigate sized guns and the station.
“That’s not a nice position to be in. These behemoths, they’ve appeared out of nowhere, just appeared in a flash of purple and pink and blue lightning, and now I’m sat between them and their target. Just me and my cargo of Silicates. I’m desperately trying to dock, but, well, the station seems to have shut down. It’s not letting anyone in, or out. Well, what could I do? Not a lot my friend. These ships are so big I dare not move. I’m not going to try and warp to a gate; I don’t want to appear hostile. So I sit there a while, and I’m thinking ‘well, let me get a close look. If they’re going to kill you, at least know what killed you’
“I counted fifteen of them in total. Fifteen of these massive ships. They were obviously Minmatar in origin; I recognised the Republic Fleet insignia on some of them. The insignia on the others, I’ve been told, was the Thukker Tribe. Who knows? Who cares? These ships were like four kilometres high. There could have been God himself flying them, I would still be worried.
“But, right, yeh, here is the scary piece. Yeh, that was just the beginning. As I am sat there watching these fifteen massive ships start to move; starting to move into positions around the station, then through the vortex dozens, that’s right, dozens of Minmatar support ships appear. Tempests, Maelstroms, Typhoons, Ruptures, Sabres, Claymores; they had the full show on display. These boys meant business. When they arrived they took up covering positions around these massive ships, taunting the CONCORD ships to take them on.
“I’m on the edge of my seat here. I have a front row seat for the biggest firework show in history, and if I am going to die watching it, well, so be it. I finished my prayers, lit up a smoke and sat back to watch.
“They sat there for about fifteen minutes. I sat there watching them. They sat there watching CONCORD. Nobody moved; or should I say, nobody dared to move. Then, suddenly, as if a silent order had been issued, the Minmatar ships disappeared. Well, not disappeared, but they left the way they came; a powerful lightning storm, all purple, blue and pink, a massive shockwave, and they all went. Just in the blink of an eye.
“I sat there for a while, wondering what the hell I had just seen. I looked around, the CONCORD ships were still on station, buzzing about like there was no tomorrow. I sat there, motionless, in my Bestower. Eventually, a Tug came out and towed me into the docking bay.”