Friday, March 10, 2017

The Distraction - Part 2

Friday Fiction! Escape pod here!

The Distraction - Part 2

Approach to the Auga-Kourmonen Regional Stargate
Auga Solar System

The Thrasher class destroyer approached the massive stargate. Captain Ragnar sat in his chair on the hushed bridge. The pilot was pushing the engines well over safe limits, but they needed to. They had to look like a capsuleer on autopilot, and no egger hung about on gates unless they were there to make trouble. The atmosphere was tense and silent. Down in the engineering bay it was the complete opposite. Smoke lay heavy in the air and the smell of burnt electrics was everywhere.

"Chief! Electro-plasma conduit pressure is 128% over max!" a voice yelled over the pandemonium.

"Never mind that Chief! Power relays are going to burn out in a minute. The intercooler chamber is hitting 400 kelvin!"

Chief Engineer Eymur didn't look up. He knew all this as it was laid out on the screen he was stood in front of. Sweat prickled his brow. A capsuleer straight out of training could get 270m/sec out of a Thrasher without thinking about it. Advanced capsuleers would be nearing 400 with some mid-range implants in an un-fitted ship. They had to push everything beyond safe limits and were only achieving 250. 

He thumbed the communicator on the console.

"Captain. We've got about thirty seconds before the gate control crew start to suspect our ident broadcast doesn't match this ship. Capsuleer ship engines don't usually overheat and explode!"

"We're jumping in ten. Good job Chief!" the Captain replied.

Up on the bridge they watched the massive regional stargate consume the the entire view-screen. They all knew this was the real test. The security on these pair of joined stargates that linked the two hostile empires would be the highest. That is why they weren't carrying the special orbital bombardment ammunition that had been promised. They would have a deep-space rendezvous with a corvette which would given them the ammo on the Amarr side of the border.

"What happens if the codes don't work?" Nai asked.

Nai was the Executive Officer of the ship. Dishonourably discharged from the Republic Navy after punching out her commanding officer after he'\d made advances and didn't take no for an answer. She'd fallen in with Ragnar and his privateer ship.

"We'll not know anything this end. When we decloak on the Amarrian side there are three possibilities as I see it. One, the transponder codes the old man gave us work and the Amarrians think we're a capsuleer and ignore us. Possibilities two and three are very similar and both work on the principal that the old guy was full of shit and the codes don't work."

"Dare I ask?" Nai replied.

"Option two is the codes are crap, the Amarrian's see that we are trying to masquerade as a capsuleer and their ships on the gate blast us into a billion fragments."

"I assuming three cannot be much worse?"

"Yeah, it can." Ragnar said "Three is the Amarrian's see that we are trying to masquerade as a capsuleer, scram us, capture us alive and we spend the rest of our very short lives really, really wishing they'd gone with option two."

Nai swallowed hard as the jump alarm sounded throughout the ship. In a flash of light the stargate opened an artificial wormhole and sent the ship light-years away.


City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromab Solar System, Domain

Pareh walked around the small room. It as part of the old Palace beep below ground. In ancient times traitors and enemies would be kept here. The crude devices of the time persuading them to give up their secrets. There was none of those items here now. The only original features were the worn stone walls and heavy wood door, he liked some of the old world within his palace. 

In the centre of the room was an high-tech operating table fitted with restraints. Stood next to it was a humanoid robot. Its head hanging low in a low-power state. The Viziam Series Eight Medical Drone was the most advanced medical robot money could buy and if you were badly injured, this is all you'd want to see. It was human sized, a skeletal representation of a man's body but with six arms. The enlarged head contained sophisticated AI and scanning tech. Programmed by the best doctors, consultants, trauma surgeons and medics in the Empire there were tales of these drones saving the most gravely injured. Normal ones were coloured bright white, this particular one was a mottled red colour. It had been heavily modified by the Blood Raider pirate faction. This was a Vengeance drone. 

Vengeance drones were stolen series 8 drones that had been repainted by the pirate faction but more importantly, its AI was heavily hacked. Its primary purpose was now to inflict pain. Using its superior medical knowledge and equipment it could keep the person alive as long as possible. It was highly illegal and feared throughout the cluster.

"And I bought you for one purpose. For her and her son. Now what am I going to do with you?" Pareh mused. Azhdan had sent the kill order to their agent and it had been received. Any moment that Matari bitch would get a knife in the spine. Or perhaps he'd slit her throat. He grinned as his imagination shifted his agent sneaking up behind her and plunging a knife into her belly repeatably in wide arcs. The smile suddenly faded as he looked at the drone and considered what that could have inflicted on the slave that had betrayed him. If only they'd had time to capture her.

There was a knock on the ancient door and it was pushed opened with a creak. Azhdan stepped in and Pareh span around excitedly.

"Is it done?" he asked quickly.

"If you are referring to 'her' sir, I do not know. As an unplanned event I am sure our agent will carry out the orders but his escape will be a priority, not sending messages. It may be some time before we receive confirmation."

Pareh looked disappointed.

"However I can report that the Matari destroyer is about to jump into our space and that our delivery ship is waiting at the co-ordinates."

"Excellent. Once they have given the half-humans the cargo, you know what to do. Oh, and Azhdan. Have some suitable entertainment sent up to my room. I feel like celebrating."

Azhdan nodded, gave a slight bow and withdrew.


Asteroid Belt 1
Planet IV
Saana Solar System

"Captain what are we doing here?" Jariz asked looking at the scanner. He hated asteroid belts. He couldn't explain why, they made him feel uneasy. "Nothing good ever comes of hanging about in 'roid fields."

"Not this crap again." the Captain sighed "Yes, we're here to make a delivery, you know that. No, we won't be long. No, asteroid belts aren't haunted."

The rest of the bridge crew laughed.

"I never said...." Jariz's voice trailed off knowing he'd never shake off the joke.

As well as the asteroid belt, the mission was making Jariz worried. They usually ran small cargo from station to station. This job was to wait at these co-ordinates until a Thrasher class destroyer arrived. They had a code-word and if the other captain replied they were to jettison one of the two cargo containers they were carrying. They had to repeat this at another asteroid belt immediately after. It had to be highly illegal but the captain had taken the job.

"Captain! A pair of Sansha Scavenger's just warped in!" the tactical officer announced loudly.

"Battle stations! Lock up the nearest and give me a half a click orbit. Open fire!" the Captain replied leaning forward in his chair. This was expected and they'd come prepared. Given the cargo was relatively small the Captain had ordered the ship to be refit for combat. Two dual modulated pulse lasers occupied the hard-points usually fitted with mining lasers. The expanded cargo bays filled with a damage control and armour repairer. 

The Impairor was the most common ship coming out of the Amarrian ship yards. It was even the default vessel for new Capsuleers. The capable corvette was more than able to deal with the two pirates even without an egger controlling the ship. The first pirate frigate exploded after a few volleys of the pulse lasers, the second not long after that.

"We couple be here a while. Lets have a look what survived in the wrecks. Might as well make some extra cash whilst we sit waiting." the Captain ordered.


Republic Security Testing Facilities Station
Tama Solar System
Planet 7 - Moon 9

Milaja swayed to the music hovering inches above the Amarrian woman. The Caldari man sat on the other sofa in the small VIP room watching attentively. She'd made the right decision. When dealing with a couple she always concentrated on the woman to start with. She'd heard too many stories of women flipping out when their other half appeared to be enjoying the experience too much. 

The couple had set up an open-ended tab and every hour another room charge was billed. She got a healthy portion of the room fee so had to be careful. Give too much too soon and they may have enough and leave. Don't given them enough and they may get bored and leave or change dancers. The art was a very slow build up so they always wanted more. There were also the club rules to consider. These were regulation set by the station. Some of the girls who'd worked in Gallente stations had said the rules here were too strict here. No touching. Dancers must keep 30 centimetres from the Client at all times. However the girls had explained to her when she first started that whilst the club owners had to abide by the rules to keep their licence, they didn't enforce unless they saw it. If you got caught they'd fire you but as far as they were concerned, what went on in the VIP stayed in the VIP and if the punters were happy and paying top credit all the better.

She turned around and climbed on the Amarrian woman's lap, swaying her upper body seductively to the music. She turned again and looked at the man who was watching intently. However neither were giving much away. She'd found out early on they weren't here for the conversation. Deciding to risk it she moved her head to the woman's neck and gently blew hot breath on her skin pressing her bare chest against the woman. Moving her head around she passed her lips tantalising close to the clients. Pulling back she saw the Amarrian woman had parted her lips slightly. Milaja looked seductively at the man again. He was difficult to read but she thought she could see a smile developing. She felt the Amarrians woman's hands had raised up from the sofa and now were stroked her legs, her thumbs running over the lace of her stocking tops. Milaja lent back in slowly. She tentatively ran her tongue slowly between the woman's slightly parted lips. Pulling back she saw the same half smile she'd seen on the man. Waters now tested she went for it, leaning in and kissing the other woman fully. Her Client instantly responded thrusting a wet, hot tongue into Milaja's mouth.

Just then there was a knock at the door and Milaja quickly disengaged herself from the Amarrian woman. A few seconds later her boss, Kagrish, poked his head around the door. The manager of the club gave his usual sleazy smile.

"I'm terribly sorry for the interruption and I hate to bother you but there is another client here who is just desperate to see Seri before he leaves for null-sec." he said apologetically and using Milaja's stage name "He has offered to pick up your entire current bill if you could swap Seri for one or more of our other lovely ladies. He said he'd offer two of our other girls if you would like."

Milaja's head span, this could be her best night ever. A big spender wanting her exclusively so badly they'd settle another client's bill. Then, just as she was getting excited, something dawned to her. In the few months she'd been working here she couldn't recall any Client that would pay someone else's huge bill just to get access to her. That didn't make sense. She'd danced for dozens of men and quiet a few couples but no big spenders.

"No." the Caldari man said abruptly.

Kagrish looked in shock, surprised that they were not interested what sounded like a fantastic deal.

"Sir, you have nearly 10,000 credits on your bill so far. This gentlemen is offering to settle it fully if you will swap girls."

"I heard you the first time. The answer is no. Now we have sufficient drinks for the night..." he said lifting the three-quarters full bottle of very expensive Gallente vodka. "...and we are very happy with Seri here for the rest of our stay so please leave and ensure we are not disturbed again."

The club owner paused, appearing to be confused that they were turning down such an amazing offer. The Caldari man sighed obviously frustrated.

"Look, I'll make it simple for you. If we are happy at the end of the night you can make the bill up to 50 thou' Republic Credits. Seri is making us happy, currently your presence is making me unhappy. I assume that fifty thou' will ensure we are not disturbed again unless the club starts burning down?" the Caldari man said forcefully.

Kagrish's eyes lit up. Taking the hint and he nodded enthusiastically before apologising and withdrawing, closing the door as he left.

Milaja quickly did the numbers. She got a fifth of what the Clients spent on drink, private dances and forty percent on VIP room hire. Her share would be nearly twenty thousand and would pay for an InterBus shuttle back to the Matari homeworlds for her and her son. Even after that it would leave enough money for them to live on for a while until she found work back on Pator. Providing she didn't mess this up she could be back in Matari space in a few days with her son far away from Amarr and 'him'. She turned back to the Amarrian woman and again straddled her lap. She didn't protest as Milaja pushed the Amarrian woman's dress off her shoulders and exposed her chest. She glanced over at the Caldari man to make sure she wasn't pushing them too far. He was leaning forward sipping on his vodka. He smiled at her. Knowing they were happy she slithered down until she was kneeling on the floor in front of the woman. She ran her hands along the insides of the Amarrian woman's legs, swaying in time to the music. The black silk felt very expensive. She reached the woman's stocking tops and, agonisingly slowly, ran a teasing finger nail along the woman's inner thigh just above the lace. She removed her hands and lent forward, taking one of the Amarrian woman's nipples into her mouth and sucked, flicking the hard bud with her tongue. Her client arched her back and gasped in pleasure.

"Matari space and safety here I come!" thought Milaja as the Amarrian woman passionately grabbed a fistful of her hair pulling her tight against her.


Asteroid Belt 1
Planet IV
Saana Solar System

"Captain, Thrasher class destroyer on short scan."

The crew had already looted and salvaged all they could from the two Sansha wrecks and had been sat on their hands for the last half hour. Now things where tense as this could be the ship they were waiting for. There was a flash of light as the Matari destroyer dropped out of warp. The destroyer class starship were relatively small compared to the battle cruisers and above but this vessel dwarfed the tiny corvette. The Captain looked at the seven 280mm artillery cannons along its spine. If they were loaded with Republic Fleet Fusion rounds they could probably annihilate their ship in a single volley. Any engagement would be over before they could react.

"Incoming message on the local channel sir. It says 'Punisher' sir."

"Reply with Vengeance and jettison the cargo container marked 'Punisher'.

We watched the view screen as the tiny cargo container was flushed into space. An opening cargo door on the Thrasher cast light into the darkness making the spinning container glint. It disappeared inside, brought in by short-range tractor beams that scooped it up. The ruddy coloured destroyer then swung away and engaged its warp drive, disappearing in a flash of light.

"One down one to go. Set course to the second rendezvous point."

"Sir we're getting a short-range burst transmission." the communications officer stated. "Wait... sorry sir I don't know what that was. It looked like a burst transmission but I'm not seeing any message picked up by the array. It was certainly originating from nearby but no ships on 1au scans and was directed right at us."

"Strange. Do a detailed short-range scan. See where it came from."

That scan was never completed. The tiny satellite that sent the burst transmission some 100,000km away, self-destructed a second after it was sent. The second cargo crate in the hold marked "Absolution" that had received the transmission detonated ten seconds after that, vaporising the ship and all crew.


Republic Security Testing Facilities Station
Tama Solar System
Planet 7 - Moon 9

"Trouble incoming." the Caldari man said suddenly rising from his seat.

The Amarrian woman moved swiftly, rising from the sofa and pulling her dress back up. Milaja didn't know what they were talking about, she couldn't hear anything other than the thump of the music. She just watched the scene unfold as if in slow motion. The door to the VIP suite burst open and an unknown Matari man stood there. He held what looked to be a knife although it wasn't made of metal. It was white and looked almost organic. Fresh blood dripped off the blades tip. The man surveyed the room in an instant and focused on Milaja. He lunged forward with the strange blade. She froze and watched in horror as it sped towards her. Out of nowhere the bottle of Gallente vodka came crashing down on the mans wrist in a blur. He screamed in pain before being silenced as the jagged edges of the now broken bottle were slammed into the front of his neck. He went down gurgling clutching where the bottle had sliced into him. His white shirt turned red. 

The Amarrian woman looked down impassively at her handiwork. A slight sneer appearing on her face. The Caldari man quickly searched the body and retrieved a datapad.

"Time to go I think." the Caldari man said.

"Was it us... or her?" the Amarrian woman asked. The Caldari man looked at Milaja.

"He went for you first. Is there anyone who wants you dead?" he asked Milaja bluntly. Her pause and look of horror told him everything he needed to know.

"I'll take that as a yes. What do you think Cat? A little fun to be had here? An adventure? A distraction perhaps?"

The Amarr woman paused looking thoughtful at Milaja first and then down to the dead would-be-assassin.

"That's a bio-knife" she said kicking the white blade "They are really expensive, high-end and built to evade station security scanning tech. Not what you'd expect to find here in the arse-end of Caldari low-sec. She's the target of someone pretty high up the food chain. I think it could be a welcome distraction."

"That settles it. Come on, you're coming with us, lets go!" he said as he dragged Milaja by her hand out of the VIP suite. In the corridor Milaja shrieked as she saw her boss' body laying face down in a pool of blood along with two bouncers she knew. Each of them appeared to have had their throats slit.

"Get the ship ready. We're leaving!" the Caldari man barked into his datapad as he shoulder an emergency exit open still dragging the confused woman behind him, the Amarrian woman he referred to as 'Cat' not far behind.

"My son! I have to get to my son!" Milaja gasp.

They stopped running. The Amarrian woman paused.

"I'll take her to get the kid. You get podded up and get the ship ready!"

"Oh and why am I flying?" he shot back.

"Because I say so. Now go get naked and get in the goo! Go!" the Amarrian said with a smile. She turned to Milaja "Which way to your kid?"

Milaja couldn't speak, she simply pointed to the security office which led back to the lower decks. Her mind was racing as the Amarrian dragged her along. The words they used. She'd heard the same words in movies she'd seen. Milaja focused her attention on the back of the neck of the Amarrian woman she looked for a sign. Her thick black hair swayed as she ran. Milaja saw it. A flash of silver. She was right. She was being pulled through the station by a capsuleer. An immortal.

To be continued....


  1. Thank you Drack.

    Makes me wonder just how long as an immortal capsuleer, it would truly take to find most things boring. :) I think it would take me a long time to become bored, but with my current frame of reference that timeline might seem long at 40-50 years. I would certainty relish the opportunity to stretch that timeline out to a 1000 or more years just to see if it all ended in despair or if I could continue to find experiences to enjoy even if it was the 37th time around. Food for thought.


    1. That's the big question with immortality isn't it. Because you could live forever do you wrap yourself up in cotton wool and not take any risks? How long until you get bored of everything?

  2. FAN FICTION FRIDAY!! Thanks Drackarn. Another good story in progress, can't wait for next Friday.