30 Jun 2011

Meet the Rebels - Duke Thunderhorse

The smell of lingering smoke was overpowering and the floor was sticky under foot. Even though nobody was around other than a lone bartender and the Rebel I was about to interview, I could tell that this old State bar had seen its fair share of eventful nights over the years. To describe the place in one word, 'weathered' sprung to mind.

Duke Thunderhorse, a man of Caldari roots who if it wasn't for his trademark black leathers and semi-sozzled appearance could easily have passed for a militia man, swivelled on his stool to face me.

"Who the f... oh it's the guy from the papers"....

Duke Thunderhorse

Tell us a little bit about your background in New Eden.

I was given an early release from prison to participate in the Caldari State’s Capsuleer Program under the condition that I enlist in the Militia and fight for the State’s independence. The corporate leaders and politicians thought it was a good idea to unleash an army of vicious immortal murderers upon the Gallente Federation. The arrogant bastards thought they could control us…

How did you become a Black Rebel?

Looking for trouble, I stumbled into a dimly lit bar where I met some crazy a** pilots in black jackets kicking the sh*t out of a newspaper reporter... Just f*ckin with ya. Drugs, booze, hookers, and bullets, sounds like home. How could I not sign on the dotted line?

What were you doing before you joined the Black Rebels?

Before joining the Rebels, I served in the Caldari Militia as part of my court-ordered rehabilitation. Apparently the Caldari Militia doesn’t take kindly to assaulting their officers so I had no choice but to get the hell out of there. Somehow, my drunkenness led me to the Minmatar Militia where I was once again reminded that I was fighting for someone else’s agenda. I went AWOL again and became a Rebel. Now I fight for my own cause, whatever that might be on any given day.

What is a Black Rebel?

What is a Black Rebel!? A Black Rebel is someone who would punch you in the face and tell you to go f*ck yourself for asking something like that. A Black Rebel is that flashy red icon on your overview that makes your a**hole pucker up. A Black Rebel looks out for himself and his fellow Rebels and that’s it. A Black Rebel is everything you are not Mr. newspaper man.

Is it true you need a tattoo to be considered for entry?

Such a thing would constitute a rule and BRRC has none of those.

The Rifter, tell me more?

According to Evelopedia, “The Rifter has a wide variety of offensive capabilities, making it an unpredictable and deadly adversary.” The same can be said for a Black Rebel and therefore the two are made for each other.

Are all Black Rebels unwashed scumbags whose only goal in life is to terrorize those they tag as 'the enemy'?

Would you rather be murdered by a cleanly shaven scumbag?

Tell me about your corpmates?

The Black Rebels are the most vile, disgusting, bloodthirsty, pieces of sh*t New Eden has to offer. You’ll find none finer.

Describe a typical day in the life of a Rebel.

There is no typical day in the life of a Rebel. It all depends on the target(s).

End of transcript ////

26 Jun 2011

Meet the Rebels - Durzo Smith

I had been loitering in the access bay at hangar C77, as instructed, for some time now, the next Black Rebel I was to meet went by the name of Durzo Smith, a Brutor. I wasn't sure what to expect but I had been told by some senior technician checking over a smoking Rifter hull that he was running a little late after getting 'held up' during a combat run.

Not long after, Durzo emerged from the locker rooms over in the corner, striding meaningfully towards me, a giant of a man he looked menacing but as he drew closer he offered a faint smile and a quick nod, after a very firm, strong handshake we were soon in business.

"Hey, lets make this quick, there's a bar stool upstairs with my name on it" .....

Durzo Smith

Tell us a little bit about your background in New Eden.

I was born to fight among the stars so rather than spend my life planetside I joined the capsuleer programme and entered a whole new world of space exploration and immortal life. In order to gain the skills I needed for combat I starting looking for a pirate corp that could teach me the ways of combat.

I eventually joined The Black Rabbit Academy which gave me an understanding of living in low sec (the bad lands) and combat. I took part in some gate camps and managed some solo kills but due to politics the corp had issues and I moved on.

I then spent some time in high sec running missions to repair my reputation with Concord before suffering from the withdrawal of 1v1 combat.

I decided to move away from "home" and started engaging in solo combat wherever I could find it.

How did you become a Black Rebel?

I write a blog about my life and Saftsuze eve mailed me, suggesting I join the comms channel used by the Rebels. Around the same time I "bumped" into the CEO of the Rebels in Arnon and challenged him to a duel. His Rifter destroyed my Punisher and that was it, I applied to the corp and that's where I will be staying.

What were you doing before you joined the Black Rebels?

Denying myself the thrill of combat by running missions for "the man" in high sec areas.

What is a Black Rebel?

Black Rebel's are rifter loving combat pilots that ignore the stress and pressure of "performing" and take pleasure in the art of solo combat in whatever form it takes. However we are not opposed to fleeting up and causing mayhem when necessary so watch out.

How did you hear about the Black Rebels?

Did I mention I have a blog?? The Durzo Chronicles and I was contacted by Saftsuze who suggested I pop by for a chat (yes, yes it's a shameless plug for my own blog).

Is it true you need a tattoo to be considered for entry?

Yes afraid so, it's a tradition that you have a picture of SaftSuze tattooed onto one arse cheek, this is there as a reminder to always check your "six" in combat (nothing to do with his sexual preference).

The Rifter, tell me more?

Ah the rifter, ugly compared to some other ships put there isn't a more robust, agile and deadly frigate than a Rifter. Yes it might be held together by duct tape, leak fuel like a bitch, but even when your cap has been sucked dry those AC's will still keep firing laying waste to ships larger than itself. Not many people know that a Rifter is actually suppose to have flames coming out of it, and if it doesn't then you're not flying it properly.

Are all Black Rebels unwashed scumbags whose only goal in life is to terrorize those they tag as 'the enemy'?

Unwashed? That's a matter of opinion, as for the other bit not sure what point you are trying to make?? An enemy is anyone that returns your target lock and doesn't leave in a pod.

Tell me about your corpmates?

To be honest these guys are awesome, chilled back, no politics, it's all about the combat, rifters and having fun. Solo or in a fleet you are never alone and the people I've flown with are all in it for the same thing, COMBAT, and flaming Rifters.

Describe a typical day in the life of a Rebel.

Ship up, undock and find someone to shoot. If you can't find it, create it. Targets are all around it's just about being clever.


End of transcript ////

25 Jun 2011

Rebel Recruitment Post

A quick pointer towards the direction of our recruitment advert as we have opened the doors again after a few months of 'bonding' (for want of a better word).

We have 38 members currently, 38 fantastic guys, every single one of them adds a unique twist to the corp and to fly with them for the first couple of months since recruitment began has been an absolute blast and I look forward to calling them 'mates' for as long as they choose to wear the colours.

But there's room for more.

To push forward our next phase we'd like to add to the roster. There is no set limit to how many applicants we are looking for but after this recruitment period is over we will be closing the door for this year while we all settle down and get our cannons overheating and our 'Rebellious Yarr' on.

Don't miss out!

If you think you want to be part of this growing corporation that has an exciting future then drop me or Saftsuze a mail or come and have a friendly chat in our public channel - The Autocannon - where we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

See you in space.


8-Track Active (She Wants Revenge)

Inspired by fellow Black Rebel pilot Duke Thunderhorse and his insistence that all stock corporate issue Rifters should have an 8-track player installed into the in-flight comms systems, I will now be periodically showcasing what is spilling out of the on-board speakers.

As the lyrics boomed meaningfully and the beat quickened we jumped into the three enemy ships flashing away before us. We made short work of first this rather painful looking Ashimmu and then a Harbinger that was overdosing on too much of the good stuff. Sadly, the Maller managed to slip our grasp, not knowing what surprises might have been waiting for us upon reading the killmail.

Oh yeah I subconsciously did a doodle whilst composing this post.


23 Jun 2011

The Edge

New look. Bite me.

It was always late at night, like some kind of frenzied werewolf, that I'd find myself taking out the Rifter for an honest run through the high-sec space lanes. I'd start in Arnon or Hek, thinking to only do a few jumps, but before long I'd be multiple jumps ahead of myself, the noise of the engines gunning in my ears, the next can-flip and the next destination my only thought. I get this addictive feeling in my gut when I go out flipping, one more can, one more aggression timer, just one more wreck to loot. Shoot me, come on!

Sure, the grip is exciting and the chase can be good. On these nights there'd be no limit, take all and face the consequence, the only thing to stop me would be some other werewolf loony who might be out to get his fix. Biting off slightly more than you can perhaps chew, the armor reppers singing a sweet tune, bits of armor streaking off into space, hull damage bringing you closer to the black void, pressure build up on the eyeballs like jumping into water off a high board.

Spiralling out of control, a tight orbit you failed to negotiate as you dodge the incoming fire, there's no sound now, but for a wind like rush biting at your ears, the pressure builds. The needle on the warning lights is blipping ever faster, the rush inside is kicking in, the adrenaline, the fix you crave, you are the junkie and your hedonistic delight is in full flow.

There is only the barest of margins and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right .... kill now or be killed, and that is when the strange music starts, you have stretched your luck so far that fear becomes pure unadulterated exhilaration that vibrates through your body, along your arms and down your spine. Howling by an asteroid at an uncomfortably close range, letting off the throttle, easing the turn as you face your enemy again, another few seconds on the edge ... The Edge ... There is no honest way to explain it to the mortals, the only civilians who really know where it is are the ones that have gone over. The others - the living - are those who pushed control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, slowed, did whatever they had to decide between Now and Later.

The Edge is out there, the immortals, the capsuleers, the barmy, the brave, the stupid and the wicked all know where it is at and visit it all too often as they seek their next thrill.


21 Jun 2011

Meet the Rebels - Starwalker Shikkoken

Jumping into the mind of New Eden's criminal combat pilots, the Black Rebel Rifter Club has decided to distribute into the public domain a series of standardised press interviews that were recently conducted at various locations across the cluster. The following short transcripts are in the words of the journalist who conducted the meetings and their identities have been hidden by request.



Having never met a 'Black Rebel' before this first meeting I must admit to being swayed towards the stereotypical image that had been building in my head. I had heard of their reported dislike of all things that are clean and in good order, and of their unwashed ways and bad habits, their fondness for the demon drink and narcotics. Generally speaking, the tales I had heard so far had also led me to believe that the Black Rebels are some kind of fanatical Minmatar splinter group, big and nasty Brutors, gunslingers and brawlers, not the kind of guys you want to be meeting with in a dingy station-side bar in some region of space you'd never been to before.

Security to the bar consisted of a walk-through weapon scanner, as I passed through the light above my head blipped green illuminating the dark hallway for a brief moment, the large metal and somewhat weathered heavy door in front of me slid open gracefully. The bar was not busy by any stretch of the imagination, the capsuleers in the establishment were easily noticeable, their God-like status resounding around them like an aura. Civilians mingled with these heroes, day-shift workers chatted between themselves after their hard day at the pumps and everything felt calm for this time of day, early evening. The room was full of noise, chatter droned into one uniformed noise.

I spotted a small group sat around a digital gaming table, one nearly empty bottle of brown liquor the centre piece of their conversation, the game of miniature electronic frigate combat long since finished and fading before them. I knew these guys were the Rebels from the moment I set eyes on them, four of them, all capsuleers, three very distinct looking Brutors and a Caldari, possibly of Civire caste, at the time I couldn't be sure. Clad in heavy black clothing they stood out from the rest of the clientèle but I wouldn't have on first glance fobbed these guys off as dirty, they seemed to me, stylish. Stylish killers.

The Caldari guy was the first to notice my presence. Tall and with striking coiffured blonde locks that wouldn't have looked out of place in a movie, he was cleanly shaven but for a well trimmed goatee beard and he was walking towards me. A single bead of cold sweat ran down the back of my spine as he offered out his hand.

'Hi, we've been expecting you. I'm Starwalker and I'll be first up for your questions'......

Starwalker Shikkoken

Tell us a little bit about your background in New Eden.

Starwalker Shikkoken is a pilot with an unknown past and uncertain future. He emerged from a clone vat only 4 months ago with two distinguishing marks: a penal colony tattoo and a scar on his forehead. Starwalker doesn’t know how he got those marks but he knows it must be related to his desire to kill things.

How did you become a Black Rebel?

Starwalker started running missions for his corporate Caldari masters to earn ISK but he soon became bored. He quickly found that he liked to kill things but wanted to choose his own targets, to not be told who to kill and where to kill them. Killing on command was good but killing on his own command would be better so Starwalker simply left the corporation he was contracted to. He wandered down to Essence and found a bar fight in progress where some black jacketed scumbags were causing trouble with the locals. Starwalker looked at his own black jacket and felt an affinity as these punk-like black jackets beat the locals into submission. The leader of the black jackets looked at Starwalker and paused... after an appraising look he said “We are going to Everyshore looking for a fight – do you want to come?” The answer came in a heartbeat – yes.

What were you doing before you joined the Black Rebels?

It doesn’t matter.

What is a Black Rebel?

Starwalker was home: Black Rebels had no rules, no commands to do anything or be anywhere. Black Rebels make their own rules, choose their own path and do what they want where they want. Starwalker wants to hunt, to kill and to make ISK for killer ships.

Is it true you need a tattoo to be considered for entry?

There are no rules but the Rebels share a common trait – they rebel against rules, no one tells a Rebel what to do, including whether to have a tattoo or not. They want the freedom to do what they want and where they want but more than that – they take it. Like-minded Rebels will naturally find each other and some of them may demonstrate a liking for tattoos.

The Rifter, tell me more?

The ship of choice for a Black Rebel because it is fast, flexible and expendable. It is a cost efficient killing machine that will give great service and repay the pilots love and attention. Everyone remembers their first love, there will be other loves but the Rifter will always be the first.

Are all Black Rebels unwashed scumbags whose only goal in life is to terrorize those they tag as 'the enemy'?

No. Some Black Rebels are cool and sophisticated scumbags, whose only goal in life is to terrorize those they tag as ‘the enemy’.

Tell me about your corpmates?

Going around New Eden alone is good and there is a time and place for that but also going around with other Black Rebels is cool; it is like being part of a brotherhood. To share in the search for the next kill, the excitement of the hunt or the delight of a kill, to share ideas or to discuss the fit of your next killer ship or simply to chat about recent events such as the Alliance Tournament 9 finals.

Describe a typical day in the life of a Rebel.

Rebels are often out hunting in either a small gang or solo, looking for war targets or for a fight in lowsec or anywhere else for that matter. There are no restrictions so fun can be had can-flipping, ransoming, stealing or ninja salvaging or even doing something more mundane like taking care of making some ISK or adjusting security status via ratting. Life is good – do what you want where you want. Ernest Hemingway wrote: “There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.”

End of transcript. ////

17 Jun 2011

Throwing Fire at the Faction Garbage Wagon

Jaguar, Rifter, Dramiel, Dramiel, Rifter kicked into warp and set off at full-throttle for the out-gate. The chase was on, the Rebels had been waiting patiently for their prey to make a run for it. Their scout had been watching the Dominix undocking, warping around and generally getting spooked as the Rebels were getting into position ready for the green light and the pounce. The signal for the launch of death and destruction.

This was it, the prey had bolted and the hungry Rebels were not going to sleep that night until they had feasted on it. The target was a member of a local salvaging company, who for no doubt some reason or another had probably pissed off a Rebel gang member somewhere down the line. Even so, this guy was flashing like a beacon to the Rebels just by the fact he was in a ...... wait a minute, a Dominix. We had just landed scrams and webs when one of the Rebels yelled over comms.

"It's a *#!!*#* Navy Issue, what the!?"

The scout hadn't noticed, perhaps didn't think it possible that a pilot barely two months out of capsuleer training could command this hulking faction battleship. There wasn't any time to ponder the ins and outs and all the details, right now five demonic frigate pilots were blasting this beast of a hull out of the sky right on a busy stargate. The first thought was bumps and webs, but soon it was clear that the Domi had sent out his drones and had aggressed, the formation of frigates turning for a tight orbit of the stricken vessel, pounding away and evading drone fire in the process.

Rockets and bullets filled the area, passers-by jumped out and generally got out of the way of the menace that was disrupting their routine, it's not every day you pass a Dominix Navy Issue on fire and leaking gases and throwing burning crew members into the emptiness of high-security space. And then, with a flash the Dominix succumbed to its killers. A once magnificent ship now a smouldering mass of twisted metal and floating dead.

The Rebels had their kill, the amusement at the killmail etched on their faces as they raced away from the scene before the press and other security forces arrived on the scene, into the darkness they sped, looking for their next victim.


5 Jun 2011

Black Jackets on Tour - Everyshore 101 -

Campaign will commence in -4 days. The message flashed along the electronic display in front of me in a bright green glow. The new temporary office that we had rented for our upcoming jaunt into Gallente space had a distinct whiff of chemical cleaning solution that stung the back of the nostrils, it was clean, sure, but the whole place had an air of quirkiness about it. The place looked like it had been vacated in a hurry, on one side of the main room the chairs that were once bolted down to the floor were tipped over on their side and on one of the desks was a loaded laser pistol, buzzing with its charge.

An orange ambient light filled the main rooms, it was a soft welcoming light, not too dark, just about right. In sharp contrast, a blistering blue-white light over by the showering facilities and locker rooms pierced into the orange hue. Inside the locker rooms was a sense of calm, all the lockers had been emptied and their contents long gone, but for a lone combat helmet that lay toppled on its side on the floor. As I stood by the helmet I sensed the camaraderie that was no doubt once present; pilots and crew readying themselves for a patrol deep into enemy sectors, not knowing what waited ahead but bonded by the echoes of laughter and the spirit of togetherness. But for now it was almost silent, the ventilation system buzzing at a low hum.

Our campaign will stretch around the regions of Everyshore, Essence, Sinq Laison and Verge Vendor. There will be some roams into low-sec for the pilots who have a less than favourable relationship with the law but the main focus of this campaign will be the high-sec areas, wardecs, thefts, can-flipping and general mischief will be the order of the day. We don't expect super-efficiency but we do expect lots of fun and shenanigans.

The fitting of hundreds of cheap, mainly tech I Rifters and Destroyers was under way down in the hangar areas below our new office. The team of mechanics and fitting crews were cursing and sending back error reports at an alarming rate.

'Oh man, where did you get these 150mm cannons from again? The barrels look bent, hope you're not planning on shooting anything in a straight line'.

'The rocket launchers don't fit on these missile mounts'.

'We're having trouble linking these cannons to the targeting system Miura, it looks like they were wired up by an Amarrian'.

'These shield extenders keep fading out when we hit the power, where did you get these cheap Rifters from again?.

Looking down on the making of a fleet, 150 Rifters, soon to be ready for battle, last preparations and tests, it seemed eery knowing that in less than a week we'd be out in the space lanes hunting down our enemy. Knowing that these ships and some of their crew would be lost for ever in the black fog of space didn't faze us right now, it was a thought firmly in the back of our minds but we all knew the risks. Some of the pilots were making last minute arrangements for their own personal stockpile of ships and commodities to be delivered to the new staging system. A short briefing via comms link was playing in the background of the office, reminding pilots to update their medical insurance and clones.

Jet Kargan, a newer member with the Rebels was just docking up after testing out his latest Rifter fit against a new recruit who was sitting out his corp stasis. The friendly pre-arranged duel the perfect prep work for the coming months. The Rifter was smoking in the hangar, the station's extraction system getting to work and removing the toxic fumes to the black space outside as a repair drone magically plasma-stitched the armor plating back together.

The Black Rebels are growing in strength and will soon be touching 20 members, the roster of names in front of me a healthy mix of some experienced and some keen, younger pilots. The next few months of combat will be the making of this band of pilots; there will be good fights, ganks, losses, dirty dealings and poddings, loss of wealth and rich pickings. We will fight bravely for the badge which we wear with pride on our Black Jackets, we will in turn become a special group of fighters, form a bond that only exists from the stress of combat, we will share our knowledge and help each other and offer support when the chips are down and we will rejoice together through the good times.

Then we'll move on, we'll clear out our lockers and start the next adventure, and before I turn off the lights I'll toss down my flight helmet onto the floor and chuck my pistol onto my desk.

Roll 'em boys.