Following on from yesterday’s revisit of the Tech 4 News non-capsuleer fiction project, here is the first re-released Tech 4 News article, originally published on 27 January YC114 (2012). 

Given the upgraded station graphics coming in Rubicon 1.1, it seemed appropriate place to start in our journey back through the trivial, local news stories that were brought to the capsuleer community by Tech 4 News.

Tech 4 News Flashback: Man Dies Attempting to Surf Station

The scene where a mag-boarder surfed to his death at the Ishukone Facility above Altrinur VIII Moon 3, Metropolis.

A 20-year-old Brutor man was vapourised in front of hundreds of witnesses yesterday in the Altrinur system, Metropolis. The deceased, known as ‘Zee Sway’ to his fellow gang members, was participating in an extreme form of the increasingly popular sport of ‘mag-boarding’. Sway was attempting to surf across the lethal electromagnetic fields that envelope the Ishukone facility orbiting the third moon of Altrinur XIII when he fell from his board and was incinerated in the protective invulnerability field.

A witness from the canteen on Deck 76-A42 said ‘We were all watching out of the viewport, it was crazy. We could see the boarder burning toward us across the station surface. It looked amazing, with this incredible halo of static around him. He was being tracked by security drones but they weren’t firing. Then there was a flash and he was gone,’ then she gruesomely added, ‘Well, most of him.’

Anton ‘Spiderhawk’ Robert, former professional mag-boarder.

Anton ‘Spiderhawk’ Robert, former professional mag-boarder, spoke out against this dangerous new trend:

‘Man, I learned to mag-board where I grew up on a backward deadspace can [colony]. First thing you did was learn to find the good lines [routes] away from the fuzz [security forces] and the buzz [defensive equipment and shielding]. Only an idiot would try riding one of the big cans [orbital stations].’

Station Security Officer Altos Sinen gave credence to Mr. Robert’s statement, confirming that this new craze is an order of magnitude more lethal than other forms of mag-boarding:

‘This mag-boarding is a ludicrously dangerous activity even on low-tech colony structures, where the worst those individuals would have to contend with is some anti-intrusion measures and an angry security detail. But attempting any unauthorised surface activity on an Orbital Facility is suicide. Aside from the automated defences, any contact with the high-energy invulnerability field would instantly vapourise them. Which Mr. Sway has learned to his cost.’

Local security forces are conducting a full inquiry into the incident and fourteen of Mr. Sway’s mag-boarding associates, all of whom were reportedly present at the accident site, have been detained for questioning.

The Rise of Mag-Boarding

Mag-boarding is an activity involving the use of a flat board equipped with magnetic repulsors (and/or jet propulsion) upon which an individual will stand and attempt to navigate his way across a course.

Interior facilities like this can be safer, but mag-board extremists prefer the excitement and freedom only found outside.

There is some dispute as to the origins of the activity, with both Minmatar and Gallente subcultures claiming historical indicators. In any case it has long been popular as a planetary pursuit in highly urbanised core worlds.

In the previous century, due to the technologies involved, planetside mag-boarding was largely the purview of the rich and the privileged. However, with the capsuleer-fuelled technology boom of the last decade, manufacturing costs have fallen making mag-boarding an increasingly affordable cultural phenomenon being enthusiastically adopted by many of today’s youth. Some alarmist commentators fear a rise in petty crime and vandalism.

Whilst planetside mag-boarding is a well-established sport, of greater concern to safety lobbyists is this recent rise of mag-boarding on space-borne structures (‘canning’). Availability of affordable protective spacewear has given wide reach to a highly dangerous and often illegal activity. Whilst tolerated at a few designated deadspace locations, mag-boarding on commercial orbital facilities is expressly forbidden cluster-wide.

Story Supplied by The Altrinur Daily Chronicle

[If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more EVE fiction in the Tech 4 Flashback series, here’s a good place to start: Tech 4 Flashback: The Stories of the Non-Capsuleer Residents of New Eden.]