When things are going well, don’t sit back and comment on how quiet it is. The results you will receive will be less than pleasant.
“Sometimes it is the beginning of a story that makes the difference as to how it ends.”
EMPEROR FAMILY ACADEMY
AMARR SOLAR SYSTEM
I was sitting in one of the bars in the lower levels of the stations with a few friends of mine of ill repute. One of them smirked as he held up an obscene gesture toward the waiter who had told him that he could not smoke in the establishment. I leaned back on my seat and lit a cigarette as well. “So, Jack, I have a little wager for you,” the Brutor man said with a smirk. I cocked an eyebrow, “Alright, what’s the score this time?” “A Malediction-class interceptor in the main hangars. Some hot-shot Imperial officer’s private ride. Deadspace pirate microwarp drive on it,” he said smiling broadly, “You can’t get that ship, I get your Vigilant.” I snickered to myself as I took another drag from my cigarette, “That it? You underestimate my abilities.” “Well, then we’ll up the ante. You lose, I get your Sin,” he smirked. “Easy enough,” I replied, “I win, I get your Cynabal. But you have to clean it first.” “Fair enough,” the Brutor said with a smile as he shook my hand. I stood up and paid my tab before departing. The Jin-Mei man that had been seated with us started laughing, “You’d better start cleaning that Cyna now mate.” “Fuck you,” the Brutor replied.
I walked to the nearest mag-lift, only to ride it to the capsuleer levels. I wasn’t about to lose a bet, especially with Sjau on the line. As the door opened, a young man wearing the uniform of an Imperial Ensign boarded. When the door opened at the next floor, the young man would be seen laying on the floor, blood flowing from his nose. I stepped off the mag-lift palming a keycard.
I made my way down toward the hangar access, and noticed a sign saying “Restricted Area – Use of Deadly Force Authorized.” I held the card up to the reader and heard a click, only to have the door slide open. I stepped through, and found myself in a sprawling hangar, numerous Amarrian vessels present from frigate to cruiser in class. It was obvious that I was in the hangar for line pilots. I made my way toward a large pane of glassteel which separated the hangars, more advanced vessels on the other side. I then saw the vessel which I was supposed to steal. I walked across the hangar, keeping close to large pallets of cargo, mostly nanite repair paste and lenses for lasers. I then observed a man walking toward the access hatch near the glassteel viewport. He held a keycard up, and the hatch opened. I swiftly approached, and as he stepped through, I entered the hatch door behind him, my right hand crossing his face, only to catch him by his left cheekbone, and with a sharp twist, I heard a defined crack as his body went limp. I let it drop to the floor before squatting down, and hooking my arms under his only to drag the body behind a power loader. I rifled through his pockets and found a few credits and a keycard.
I made my way toward the Malediction-class Interceptor, and noticed that the crew access hatch was open. I pulled myself into the small vessel, and closed the hatch. I found a capsule already emplaced, as military vessels tended to stay in a higher state of readiness, consistently prepared for immediate launch. I sealed myself in the capsule and began running preflight checks before powering the vessel up as to avoid raising too many suspicions. A smirk crossed my lips as a warning was projected across my retina, but it was too late. I willed the tiny vessel’s reactor online, and seconds later, I felt a vibration run through the vessel as power was being transferred to the sublight engines. Due to the exterior camera drones, I could now hear alarm klaxons, and knew that if I didn’t act quickly, I wasn’t going to pull this off. I willed the small vessel upward, and then rerouted power to the engines, willing the throttle to maximum. Prior to even clearing the now-closing hangar bay doors, I engaged the microwarp drive, and sent a wash of ion radiation from the engines across the hangar, which would cause anyone not in a vessel to be killed due to overpressurization and radiation.
The vessel escaped into the undocking queue and local trade traffic. I opened a private communications channel to my friend, “Go ahead and deliver that Cynabal to Iderion. I’ll pick it up later.” A smirk crossed my lips as I began to align the vessel to the Sarum Prime stargate, only to feel a faint shudder as the vessel’s sublight engines was being reduced as it was rerouted to the warp core. A second later, the sublight engines cut out as the warp core finished spooling up and I could hear a calm voice in my mind, “Warp Drive Active.”
“Most people refer to the great engines of war. The issue is, most of these fools fail to prime the engine, or even fuel it prior to trying to get the gears turning to get the engines in motion.”
KALAAKIOTA CORPORATION FACTORY
ANSASOS SOLAR SYSTEM
I stood in the station concourse in front of a small shop that I had frequented regularly, looking to buy a pack of cigarettes, “Well shit.” I shrugged and shook my head, knowing well that the business had been in good standing, but noticed the “OUT OF BUSINESS” sign on the front of it. I pulled the last cigarette from my pack, and lit it, tossing the empty pack into a waste receptacle nearby. I stretched and made my way toward the cafe I usually visited and sat down outside the concourse. The waiter walked over, and I ordered a cup of synthetic coffee. A few moments later, I was finishing my cigarette, and the waiter brought my coffee over. I took a sip of it, and pulled a report out from my vest pocket, and began looking it over. I yawned as I pulled out a pen and began making some minor alterations to be typed up later. The reconnaissance from last night had paid off.
ACTEE SOLAR SYSTEM
I jumped into the system in Gungnir, my Nemesis-class Stealth Bomber and immediately aligned, cloaked and run a long range scan with the on-board directional scanner. Nothing on scan. I initiated a warp to the asteroid field near Actee II, and had nothing noteworthy come up on scan. It was when I warped into the asteroid field near Actee VI that I picked up an Orca-class Industrial Command Ship within one AU. A quick change of angle on the scanner revealed that the Orca was sitting off of a local Astrahus-class Citadel that was owned by Obsidian Engineering. Local telemetry revealed that Neferfiti Akhenaten was the pilot of the Orca, and that Drake Draconis was in fact in the system, likely docked in the citadel.
I adjusted the positioning of Gungnir, and remained cloaked approximately one-hundred fifty kilometers from the citadel. After a few minutes, Neferfiti docked the Orca. A quick search of corporate records revealed that both Drake and Neferfiti had jumped corps prior to his prior corporation, ARMAXX HEAVY ARSENAL losing the war that had been declared against them by Public-Enemy with an estimated two and a half billion ISK in losses, including a Hulk-class Exhumer being flown by Drake himself. That painted his previous corp as an easy mark, and clearly showed that he wasn’t nearly as paranoid as he used to be. However, my sudden undetectable presence in his home solar system likely changed that.
After gathering as much intelligence as I could, including using my camera drone to capture visuals of locations, I aligned back to the stargate in which I entered the solar system from, only to jump back out and set a course for home.
KALAAKIOTA CORPORATION FACTORY
ANSASOS SOLAR SYSTEM
When Trianna came back in from her hangar, clearly covered in grease from working on several of the vessels in there, she would find me sitting at my desk finishing an intelligence report which would be sent out to all members of our previous alliance that I still had positive contact with. She cocked an eyebrow, “It’s not like you to be doing desk work at this time, what’s up?” “Intel report on that shithead,” I replied without looking up. “Well, more ships are combat ready for tomorrow, although a few of them are short modules that we’ll have to wait to build or get a run from neutrals,” she said with her hand on her hip. I flicked the knife from its sheath on my back, and pulled out a sharpening stone, “Gotta make sure this is ready for when we strike.” Tri smirked, “You do that. I guess I’ll just shower by myself.”
The knife and sharpening stone were quickly abandoned.
“Sometimes you will see things that make you do a double take. Take the time to look a second time, verification is everything.”
KAALAKIOTA CORPORATION FACTORY
ANSASOS SOLAR SYSTEM
It was evident that Trianna was getting irritated, “Jack, you’ve had four sources confirm what you saw. We all saw the same thing. He’s alive.” Smoke curled around my head as I watched the recording again, “I don’t understand how it’s even possible. The mutiny, the trap, the fire, and the gunshots. Natalie took care of that years ago.” Trianna placed a beer on Jack’s desk, “Nothing can be perfect all the time. And not everything is as it seems.”
A chance encounter revealed my old alliance executor was hiding in Essence region. If I hadn’t been trying to keep a fleet from being killed by superior numbers, I never would have known. It had been two days since I confirmed our old alliance executor was still alive, and as a result, messages were sent to former members of that alliance, and former enemies of that alliance. The number of responses I got confirmed that a lot of people hated him just as much as I did. When perusing recent activity, I had noticed that Public-Enemy had declared war against them, which meant he was going nowhere, as he refused to undock during wars. It was one of his “rules” that he had tried to impose on us all those years ago.
I sat behind the desk, various weapons spread out across it in varying states of assembly and cleanliness. The current project was the katana blade that I was sharpening. If I would have known that this job wasn’t going to get done the first time, I would have handled it personally.
Trianna cocked an eyebrow, “The messages are still coming in. Looks like several from people who had turned in their pilots licenses to CONCORD that are now in the process of renewing them. How can one person create this much hatred?” “You don’t know him like I do,” I said with a smirk, “That fucking piece of shit isn’t going to be able to take a shit soon without risking having someone take a shot at him.” “Well, if that many people want him dead,” Trianna replied, “It doesn’t seem like he’ll live long.” “This bastard is like a roach,” I chuckled, “And equally as annoying.”
Remember to never fuck with an old man in a career which is notorious for men dying young… I’m old for a fucking reason.
There is no peace beyond the rage.
There are some days when the little angel on your shoulder looks at you and you stop and think… …right before smirking and wasting the self-righteous little fucker and leaving the little devil standing there on your other shoulder with his mouth hanging open in horror.