Matalan Eblanus (Character)
Date of Birth: YC 81.04.04
Birth World: Eszur Prime
Current Age: 32 standard years
Matalan was born on April 4th, YC 81 on the non-aligned world of Eszur Prime, located in the lawless Gallente-Matari border region in low-security space. With their system lying outside the direct political influence of either the Federation or the Republic, the Eszurans were used to dealing with all manner of raiders, pirates, and slavers. The presence of Caldari, Gallente, and Matari industrial stations in the system did little to stabilize matters; if anything, it contributed to the system's lawless status. Isolated and impoverished, the stations barely covered their own operating costs through trade with the economically undeveloped Eszurans, and their small security forces focused all of their efforts on trying to keep the local criminals from swarming over the local tradeships. Eszur Prime's own small militia was poorly trained and under-equipped; with few financial resources, they were only able to maintain a small patrol force of frigates and destroyers, with a single outdated Matari cruiser acting as the flagship.
Unknown to the greater galaxy as a whole, Eszur Prime served as a major transfer point for the interstellar black market, with illegal boosters and unsanctioned experimental implants making up the majority of the goods being transferred. A small independent cabal of scientists and businessmen set up a cutting edge cybernetics lab on the planet's surface, where they used the impoverished locals as guinea pigs for their experiments into human augmentation. The local government formed an unholy alliance with these unscrupulous researchers, turning a blind eye in exchange for a cut of the profits. It was a sheer coincidence that two of the men responsible for arranging this backroom deal were Matalan's father and grandfather - respectively the commander of the militia and the planetary secretary of the treasury.
As a child, Matalan was subjected to the fruits of his family's deal with the devils of Eszur, becoming an unknowing test subject of an experimental new cybernetic implant program. As a member of a family that was the closest thing the Eszurans had to an upper class, Matalan was more privileged than most on the impoverished border world, and his father and grandfather arranged for him to be a veritable child prodigy, courtesy of the experimental nanotech that was installed directly into his developing brain. From birth, his IQ was automatically in the top percentile of any Eszuran child ever born - an impressive 185 - and his cognitive implants enabled him to learn at an exponential rate. By the time he was fourteen, he was better-educated than most Eszuran adults three times his age, and was serving aboard his father's command cruiser as a weapons technician.
Life in the Federation
Immigration Date: YC 95.05.15
Resident Status: Naturalized Immigrant (citizenship achieved YC 99.06.15)
Planet of Residence (as registered citizen): Aymaerne III
It was at this point, however, that his father had a change of heart. Realizing that the government, under influence of Matalan's ruthless grandfather, intended to use his son for their own self-serving ends, the militia commander was able to smuggle the young prodigy out of the system and across the border into Federation space. Matalan's mother and sister followed soon after, traveling to the placid Aymaerne system in the heart of Gallente space. Registered as refugees, the three Eszurans were awestruck by the abundance of freedom and wealth their new home possessed. Faced with this new reality, Matalan and his mother and sister threw themselves headlong into the educational and financial opportunities the Federation provided. Matalan soaked up knowledge he would never have been exposed to otherwise, and by the time he was eighteen, he had earned his Federation citizenship as a fully naturalized immigrant. Building upon his prior experience in the militia, he entered the Federation Navy Academy in YC 100.
His education was interrupted not long afterwards by a message from his father. Eszur Prime, his homeworld, was on the brink of civil war, as increasing pressures from the local pirates, further decline of the local stations, and the revelation of the planet's black market ties to the general populace had caused massive social unrest. Matalan's tyrannical grandfather, now the planet's magister-general, had removed his own son from command of the militia, having discovered his complicity in smuggling Matalan out of the system, and Matalan's father now commanded the rebel faction. Taking an extended leave of absence from the Academy, Matalan used his own money to hire a small combat cruiser to return him to Eszur. Once there, he all but depleted his own accounts to help provide the fledgling rebel fleet with much-needed supplies and munitions.
His efforts were ultimately for naught, however. With nearly half the militia and several of the local pirate gangs loyal to him, Matalan's grandfather easily crushed his son's rebel faction. Killing his own son and most of his men, the aging dictator met his match when attempting to recapture his prodigal grandson. Matalan's hired modern cruiser gutted his grandfather's aged command ship, but most of the young man's surviving extended family was slaughtered in the fighting. As civil war engulfed the planet, all but a few of his relatives (on both his mother's and father's sides of the family) were killed. In the end, as his homeworld burned, he was able to evacuate only a handful of his uncles, aunts, and cousins, as well as one of his brothers and his other sister. The sight of several refugee ships being targeted and blasted to scrap metal by pirate vessels over the skies of Eszur Prime was forever seared into his mind.
Education: Federal Navy Academy
Last Federal Employer: Federal Navy Academy
Current Status: Capsuleer; independent contractor (mercenary) with Federation Navy
In YC 101, at the age of twenty, Matalan continued his professional training with the Federal Navy Academy, this time with renewed determination. His inherent intelligence and drive were tempered by a fresh hatred of dictators and pirates, and he was single-minded in pursuit of his goal to make it into the coveted and elite capsuleer training program. Fiendishly difficult and inherently dangerous, only a select few actually survived the rigorous process, and many of those who did inevitably washed out. Upon graduating from the standard Academy training curriculum in YC 104 - itself no small feat - Matalan spent four years in the Federation Navy, serving on a number of warships ranging in size from frigates to battleships, eventually achieving the rank of lieutenant commander. Finally, after overcoming every academic, physical, and administrative challenge, he was inducted into the Federation's difficult and dangerous pod pilot conditioning regimen in YC 108.
Matalan withstood the extreme surgeries required to install the necessary cybernetics, survived the rigorous mental conditioning and the inherent risk of mind-lock, and learned to control a ship while encased in the wet blackness of a stasis pod. After two years of mental and physical re-engineering, Matalan finally joined the ranks of the Federation's capsuleers in YC 110. Promoted to full commander prior to discharge, he stayed on with the FNA in an 'unofficial' capacity for nearly two years as a capsuleer reservist. During this time, he developed several contacts within the Minmatar Republic (and even one inside the Caldari State) and accumulated a wealth of skills, ships, modules, and ISK.
Working entirely on his own, he ascended to independent cruiser command, purchasing a Celestis-class vessel named the Raven's Claw. This ship was destroyed in combat against Serpentis forces on YC 112.12.13, after which Matalan acquired a Vexor-Class combat cruiser, Memnon's Hammer, staffed with those crewmen who had survived the destruction of the Raven's Claw. The loss of his first cruiser affected him profoundly; as the first ship larger than frigate size destroyed under his command, the resulting casualties instilled in him a newfound caution, as well as a respect for the courage of the rank and file military spacers who served (often without distinction or even praise) under the immortal capsuleers.
On YC 112.12.27, two weeks after purchasing Memnon's Hammer, Matalan abruptly terminated his reservist commission with the FNA and established his own corporation, the Black Ravens Security Company. Ostensibly incorporated as a private security and escort firm for the purposes of protecting mining ships and transports in low-sec, the company was in business for a mere three and a half months, closing down on YC 113.3.13. Matalan served as the company's sole employee and shareholder, and is believed to have funneled several million credits' worth of funds to the corporation's accounts, which subsequently vanished.
Speculation as to exactly what purpose the siphoned funds were applied to is limited, as only Eblanus' crew, immediate family, and a few of his personal contacts were aware of the BRSC's existence. It is not known if the corporation's expressed objectives were genuine or merely a cover for the CEO's true purpose; however, given Eblanus' overt anti-criminal attitudes (and his history of single-handedly engaging and wiping out large pirate forces), it is doubtful that the company's stated mission was merely for show. Given his more recent behavior, it is likely that the funds were used to start up his own private starship research and development efforts in the Aymaerne system; however, another theory holds that he was funding the initial stages of a planned military expedition to reconquer his home star system of Eszur.
Soon after the liquidation of his (apparent) shell company, on YC 113.3.17, Matalan enlisted with a private paramilitary group, the Order of Black Knights (OOBK), led by Facta NonVerba. Serving with the small but elite corporation for just under four months, Matalan received something of a crash course in private capsuleer corporate warfare, as the Black Knights proved to be a popular target for small, overfunded groups of bored hi-sec griefers looking for quick kills. Averaging about two war-decs a month, the Black Knights lost far more than they took down, but kept on swinging, fighting with a ferocious tenacity that eventually caused every aggressor corp to cease hostilities. Matalan did his best to support the small Order in its struggles, and raked in a goodly amount of ISK from the combined fleet ops undertaken against Serpentis forces during the downtime between war-decs.
It was during this time period that he finally achieved his long-term capsuleer goal, purchasing a top of the line Myrmidon-Class battlecruiser, the Wrath of Achilles. Keeping the ship and his largely veteran crew in reserve for experimental engineering development, he unfortunately managed to lose two additional battlecruisers in close succession - the first in an ill-planned Order wormhole operation, and the second in a pitched battle against unexpectedly powerful Angel Cartel raiders. Luckily, both of these ships were experimentally-modified vessels of his own design; crewed entirely with prototype cybernetic drones, their admittedly below-average performance no doubt contributed to the costly loss of both ships, although the lack of any actual crew casualties was, in Matalan's mind, worth the heavy financial blow.
Thankful for the valuable experience and material gains he had received, but also exhausted from his efforts and not quite in-sync with the direction the Order's operations were taking, Matalan took a nearly four-month long hiatus from his capsuleer voyages, leaving the OOBK on YC 113.7.3 and not returning to the fold until YC 113.10.21. He returned to his home on Aymaerne III, consulting with his crew and continuing his research on cybernetic starship command support and enhanced crew survival systems. His officers and engineers had made a number of improvements to the battlecruiser's structural elements, crew compartments, and other systems, as well as modified the Wrath of Achilles' computer AI controls and onboard automated support drones.
Approximately a week after returning the Achilles to active service, Matalan and his crew signed on with the Gallente Independent Progressive Alternative corporation on YC 113.10.28. A pro-Federation political action group focused on exploration, the advocacy of Gallente values, and open communication with other pro-Gallente corporations (including many militia groups with the Federal Defense Union), the GIPA is staffed with a number of bold and experienced pilots who share an interest in exploration, as well as a commitment to protecting the Federation from both internal and external foes. Matalan chose to seek employment with the GIPA organization largely due to their willingness to seek and destroy pirates and other criminals, including rogue capsuleers preying on star systems in Federation space - although the opportunity to participate in lucrative, well-organized wormhole expeditions with heavy logistics support was an enticing prospect as well.
Training and Specializations
Proficiency: Gallente Frigates, Cruisers
Command Specialization: Battlecruisers
Hybrid Gunnery Skills: Expert
Combat Drone Control Skills: Expert
Matalan has been a combat pilot for most of his adult life, starting with his early militia training in his home system of Eszur and including three years of formal military education at the Federal Navy Academy, as well as four years of active duty shipboard service in the Federation Navy. Add to that his three additional years of independent service as a capsuleer commander and one is presented with a man well-versed in military protocol and Gallente naval doctrine. His strong ties to the Gallente Navy have provided him with a dearth of contacts and a steady supply of information, logistical support, and cold hard ISK.
While not generally recognized as a particularly innovative tactical thinker, Matalan is nevertheless quick to adapt to changing combat situations and never falls for the same trick twice. He is a straightforwards but tenacious combat commander; he is always prepared to fall back and regroup if faced with overwhelming odds, but will always return quickly to hit the enemy again from a different angle of attack, striking as hard and as often as necessary to defeat the opposition and achieve victory. His ability to exploit the inherent mediocrity of pirate fleet commanders and willingness to calmly engage hostile forces in the face of overwhelming odds explains his high standing with the Federation Navy's independent agents, who turn to him time and time again in times of crisis.
Matalan was singled out by his instructors and later commanders in the Navy for his loyalty and ability to follow orders; as he advanced in rank, they also noted his ability to instill those same qualities in the personnel under his command. As he gained command of frigates, destroyers, and later cruisers while still on active naval duty, his crew performance reports were always in the top ten percent in the squadron, with short maintenance cycles and efficiency levels off the scale. This trend continued after he left the service for independent capsuleer command; to this day, the majority of his crew are trained veterans who have served with him consistently for several years.
As a capsuleer, Matalan's personal skills are diverse and varied, though they are definitely geared towards maximum flexibility and versatility in combat, and little else. As his career has been punctuated with several somewhat prolonged periods of inactivity, while he possesses many skills, few of those are fully-trained, giving him intermediate-level benefits as best. He is proficient (though hardly an expert) in the use of probe launchers, directional scanners, target painters, remote repair & recharger systems, microwarpdrives, tackling modules, and electronic warfare systems.
The area where his expert proficiencies truly lie is in long-range combat, through the use of high-caliber railguns and combat drones. His gunnery and drone control skills have only increased in recent months, enabling him to decimate wings of short-range frigates, destroyers, and cruisers with ease, and even providing significant damage potential against unshielded Sleeper drones. Matalan prefers medium scout drones for their balance of speed, armor, and firepower, and is currently qualified in the use of the more powerful Tech II variants currently produced by all four empires.
Matalan is an accomplished battlecruiser commander; he admires the class for its respectable speed, durability, weapons loadout, and ability to provide strong escort for tradeships against smaller pirate raiding vessels. He is currently focused on developing his battlecruiser command skills to their highest possible level, and is eager to maximize the potential of his personal warship, the Myrmidon-Class battlecruiser Wrath of Achilles, with powerful Tech II armor and weapons. While he will train to fly battleships eventually out of necessity, his primary focus will remain on learning to operate the advanced Command Ship class of battlecruisers in the distant future.
In spite of his extensive military and ship command-related training, Matalan also sees himself as a dedicated scholar, and somehow finds time for his studies of ancient history and philosophy. While not formally trained, he has developed substantial skill in locating and acquiring modern copies of ancient texts. His personal collection of books from the earliest post-Collapse human civilizations - historical works by ancient Amarrian, Gallente, and Matari philosophers and military commanders, as well as many classic novels - is impressive, even by ultra-wealthy capsuleer standards. The Planetary Library on Aymaerne III has benefited greatly from his expertise and generosity over the years in the form of donations of rare manuscripts.
Matalan practices a number of martial arts, including target shooting (he is an expert marksman with all manner of small arms, including pistols, rifles, and assault weapons), modern Gallentean sport fencing, ancient Gallentean longsword (with and without shield), and modern Caille mixed martial arts. He also plays several ancient Gallentean military strategy games, including hexagones de la guerre and le strategie.
Matalan has a reputation for being taciturn, even dour at times. He never speaks unless he has something to say, and is not known for being a conversationalist. Generally speaking, he is direct and to the point, focused on the job at hand and showing little concern for anything apart from business. When dealing with corporate agents, he is calm and polite but wastes little time with idle chit-chat, preferring to get straight to the business at hand so as to get things done.
With people whom he knows on a more personal level, a slightly different side of his personality emerges. He is more likely to speak up, interject in conversations, offer his opinion on a given matter, make a sharp remark or a sardonic observation, or even crack a small joke or two. Even in this sort of setting, however, he remains a quiet and largely inactive participant in whatever is going on. Matalan is much more of an observer than a participator, preferring to sit, watch, and listen to others while keeping to himself as much as possible. It is only when he truly believes that he has something valuable to contribute that he will jump in; it is on these occasions that he gains a degree of boldness and potentially exposes himself to disagreements and hostility.
Introverted and anti-social, Matalan can be unresponsive, grouchy, and even inconsiderate at times. He may appear and disappear at will, with little or no warning, sometimes without even a word to anyone that he is around. Generally speaking, however, he is conscientious and responsible, as well as charitable; he seldom refuses to offer his time and talent to help his friends or even strangers in need. He is usually compassionate, even-tempered and patient; it takes quite a bit to truly make him mad, though he can be aggravated rather easily, and he dislikes being interrupted - once he has started something, he focuses on it to the exclusion of all else until he finishes.
Highly intelligent and possessed of a quiet wisdom (albeit with a tendency to sometimes put his foot in his mouth), Matalan's habit of rationing his words is balanced by his inherent incisiveness - a kind of laser-like precision that enables him to say something direct and appropriately profound concerning the subject at hand. He has a tendency to wax philosophical; his interest in and extensive study of Ancient Earth literature and history provides him with a wealth of ancient wisdom (and an arsenal of quotations) upon which to draw from.
Matalan is a man with deeply conflicting viewpoints on nearly everything; his inherent ability to see both the benefits and flaws of any given human-engineered system makes it extremely difficult for him to back anything wholeheartedly. Combined with the nature of his birth world and his own upbringing, as well as the traumatic events of his life, these factors have led him to become a person who is not really sure what he believes in, if anything. His enhanced intelligence and education have actually hindered more than helped him in this regard; knowing a great deal about more than one side of an argument makes it that much harder to choose the truest course.
Politics are decidedly not one of Matalan's favorite subjects. For a myriad of reasons, years of exposure to New Eden's byzantine inter-imperial political machinations have left him cynical and distrustful of politicians in general, regardless of their nature. After three decades of life - and having been politically aware for nearly half that time - he has yet to encounter a single political philosophy that he can embrace without any major reservations. Human beings, regardless of how intelligent and technologically or genetically-enhanced they may become, will always be imperfect, and their belief systems will always be equally imperfect as a result. This rule holds true for him in terms of religion, economic policy, legal policy, social engineering, and even military doctrine.
Matalan generally keeps his own attitudes towards personal freedom to himself, as most other Gallente citizens would find his views to be borderline fascist - often a dangerous situation, particularly for a naturalized immigrant. He finds the Gallente obsession with absolute freedom to be inherently irresponsible and potentially dangerous, and the government itself is rife with unchecked graft and corruption. The democratic legislative process is inherently divisive, painfully slow to achieve results and subject to unethical and illegal backroom deal-making and dangerous paralysis.
This skepticism regarding the value of absolute freedom is in fact more a reflection on his general lack of faith in humanity then as an indictment of democracy. To Matalan, the idea of libertarianism, like pacifism, is discredited from the start. There will always be those who seek to impose their will on others; the balance of power will always be skewed. In an absolute sense, no one human being can live without somehow infringing on the well-being of another. The fact that humans still exist in a state of violent, dystopian strife, despite all of the developments that should have brought such problems to an end, means that the biggest problem with mankind is mankind itself.
New Eden's inhabitants have access to an entire galaxy's worth of planets and nearly unlimited resources, and technology allows for the completely sustainable generation of everything humanity needs, be it food, water, medicine, or energy...and yet, human nature ensures that their society remains dominated by greed, consumerism, competition, prejudice, racism, and blind adherence to outdated traditions and ages-past slights. In this ever-spinning whirlpool of incessant human folly, Matalan does not pretend that there is - or ever will be - a solution. He only knows that war is humanity's favorite pasttime, and as an immortal capsuleer AND combat pilot, he is ensured employment until the last star in New Eden burns low and dies.
Matalan has just as dim a view of the Caldari and Amarrian governments, for completely different reasons. While he believes that the borderline anarchic Gallente could take a page from the Caldari's book when it comes to individual discipline and self-sacrifice, he also finds the Caldari mega-corps as being entirely too rigid, narrow-minded, and far too unconcerned with the well-being of their own citizens. Despite agreeing with the Caldari attitude that 'free speech' is not always a good idea, he also disapproves of the loyalty that the State demands of its citizens, while not offering nearly as much in return. No Federation citizen would be so completely ostracized from Gallente society for even half of the things that the State regularly exiles its own people for doing.
In spite of the chaos that unearned privilege can enact, there is also such a thing as far too much rigidity and authoritarian control - which the Caldari do exemplify - but which the Amarrians take to the extreme. Matalan has no use for either fanatics or slavers, and the Amarrians are both. Religion provided humans for the 'justification' for atrocities and inhumanities long before nationalism and patriotism joined the club, after all - and the Amarrians have had far longer to practice their doctrine and develop it into a weapon of oppression against their fellow human beings. While Matalan may not believe in absolute freedom without equally absolute personal responsibility - what some people might denounce as 'government indoctrination' - he also knows that slavery is the most degrading and morally repugnant form of human depravity.
Regardless of his other personal beliefs, Matalan's background has inexorably instilled in him an intense hatred of dictators, slavers, and pirates. No Eszuran had to be a genius to realize that they lived under an oppressive regime, kept in power by corrupt businessmen while under constant siege by powerful local gangs of space-faring criminals. Slave traders, whether of Amarrian or independent origin, made sporadic raids against the system's outlying settlements, often right under the nose of the local militia. The common Eszurans, lacking the resources to do anything to alter their fate, were condemned to live in constant anxiety, unable to even rely on their own leadership for either prosperity or protection.
The fact that Matalan personally killed his own tyrannical grandfather - while simultaneously remaining powerless to prevent the wholesale destruction of Eszuran civilization at the hands of the pirate raiders - left him with both a strong desire for revenge, and a willingness to stop at nothing to dispose of dictators and criminals alike. One of the main motivations behind Matalan's determination to become a Federation capsuleer was to ensure himself the power, skill, and resources needed to effectively fight against the galaxy's criminal elements, as well as those who abused their power to unjustly impose their own will on others.
Since becoming a capsuleer, Matalan has been personally responsible for the destruction of thousands of slaver and pirate vessels, ranging from Serpentis battlecruisers to Blood Raider frigates and Guristas cruisers. He has rescued hostages, liberated slaves, and prevented attacks by terrorists and overly-aggressive Caldari naval units against the Federation.
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