Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction 14: Crielere*

Friday Flash Fiction is an EVE Flash Fiction initiative hosted by Casiella Truza from Ecliptic Rift. Each Friday a prompt is presented, and the next Tuesday links to all stories are added to the original post. This week's prompt is Crielere.
"Clier—", says Prime, grimacing. "Creelerier—"

He purses his lips and gives it one more try: "Creerlier—"

"Don't worry, old boy," says Rolinthor, appearing suddenly behind Prime and clasping his shoulder roughly with one arm. "You don't have to pronounce it! You just have to make it!"

Prime, in his "autistic engineer" mode, is only faintly annoyed by Rolinthor's outburst, and quickly returns his attention to the readout on his datapad, which is labeled: " Crielere Labs Prototype Cloaking Device - Schematics." With the flick of a few fingers across the screen, he clears that image and brings up another one captioned: "Crielere Labs Covert Ops Cloaking Device II." He flips back and forth between the pages a few more times to get a good sense of both his starting point and the desired endpoint.

"I wouldn't be bothering me, right now, if I were you, Rolinthor. Augmenting a piece of technology with morphite is a tricky business."

"That's something I've never understood," says Rolinthor. "Why do you insist on starting at square one with each job. Why re-invent the wheel?"

"Rol, do me a favor. When I'm hanging around with my engineering friends – you know, the lab coat guys – try and remember not to embarrass me by asking stupid questions like that.

"I've tried explaining this to you before, but I guess I didn't use simple enough terms. Tech-2 invention doesn't work like that. You can spend days at a time devising a morphite-overlay strategy to modify an existing device, only to find that, due to the peculiar pattern of sub-micron fractures running throughout its structure, your clever stratagem will only work for a handful of production runs — or worse, it won't work at all. The damnable thing is, no two sub-micron fracture patterns are alike; every device is unique, like a snowflake. Ergo, no two morphite-overlay jobs are the same."

"But what about those nifty 'Tech-2 Blueprint Originals' I always see on sale in Jita local?"

Prime bolts upright in his chair and turns to face Rolinthor. "You didn't actually buy one of those, did you?"

"Uh, no. But I thought about it, once or twice."

"Don't," says Prime, turning back to his datapad. "They're scams. Oh, sure, I've heard rumors of old-timers with T2 BPOs. So-called 'ISK-printing machines.' But I've never seen one myself. Frankly, I don't think they really even exist. Just a myth us engineers like to tell each other after we've botched one too many morphite-overlays.

"You know, I've even heard rumors of something called a T2 BPO Lottery. Imagine that. A lottery for BPOs. What rubbish. Sometimes people tell the stupidest stories..."

*Ok, ok. More like Fiction Tuesday. So sue me.


  1. Clever explanation of a game mechanic via the storyline. I like it.

  2. Very nice. Love this kind of fiction.