Friday, October 17, 2014

Night of the Haunting - Part 1

Its two weeks to Halloween! I had an idea for a story to tie in with the time of year. Eve Online meets Scream? Its a 'three-parter' with the climax on the 31st. Escape pod here if you are not into your Eve-O fiction.

Night of the Haunting - Part 1

The loud bell broke the silence of the classroom which was immediately followed by the squeal of chairs being pushed back as the students rose.

"I want that piece on Admiral Yakia Tovil-Toba handed in before the end of the week. I'll be knocking off 10 marks for every day its late!" the lecturer shouted above the din.

Setta followed the throng of students leaving the classroom and out into the crowded hall. At 18 years old she was a senior and would be moving up to university in the next six months. That meant moving to a whole new space-station. Away from her family, away from her friends. She edged forward through the crowd and got to her locker, managing to open the door one-handed as she struggled with her pile of datapads. She slammed the door closed and headed towards the exit at the bottom of the corridor. She realised that her next educational establishment would be very different as various students of all creeds and colours jostled past her. The space-station at Luminaire VII was fairly unique in the Gallente Federation. The planet below had once been home to the Caldari race and still bore its name, Caldari Prime. After losing the war with the Gallente Federation, the Caldari State was a now distant empire. Most of its people had fled the star-system to their new home, New Caldari. However there were still many Caldari on the planet and station in orbit above who never left their homeworld. Along with the Matari immigrants and the odd Amarrian escaping their repression for one reason or the other, the Luminnaire VII station was perhaps the most racially diverse in the cluster.

Setta exited the door into the park. Of course on a space-station it was all artificial, but an important element for the well-being of the space-dwelling students. She glanced around. Groups of students were playing various sports, sat chatting or reading or just strolling around. Whilst the sun was not visibile through the massive window looking out into space, a huge high-intensity light high up on the roof gave the apperance of bright sunshine. Suddenly a pair of hands grabbed her from behind.

"Gotcha!" the voice snarled as she almost jumped out of her skin.

"You bastard!" she yelled as she realised it was Jark who was lifting her up and putting her over his shoulder!

"Put me down!" she screamed, half laughing.

"Nope. Got places to go!" he said and strode across the park carrying her on his shoulder to the amusement of other students.

Jark was the captain of the Lacrosse team. A six foot pillar of Gallente muscle topped with short blonde hair. Your standard jock however he was different to many of them, he was actually a nice guy as well. He and Setta had been dating for four months. He finally put her down as he reached a group of students sat under a tree.

"Oh look what the Jark dragged in!" Ariken laughed. Setta smiled at her knowing the comment wasn't as light-hearted as she made it sound. Ariken was a bitch. She was the head of the click of the rich and beautiful girls and she had always looked down on Setta. Normally Setta wouldn't give airheads like her a second look. Rich daddy's girls who use their looks and daddy's money to get through life whilst being mean and cruel to anyone they see as below them. Ariken begrudgingly accepted Setta into the group simply because of Jark. The hansom captain of the lacrosse team needed to be in her group simply for the status. Ariken was Caldari, her father was a successful businessman planet-side, and it didn't help that Setta was Gallente. It had been a long time since the Gallente kicked the Caldari out of Luminarre but there was still some animosity.

"Jark... MY MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!" the man sat with Ariken yelled and jumped to his feet. The two men ran at each other before jumping in the air and chest bumping. Chigas was Ariken's boyfriend. He was the centre-forward and all-star player of the college Zero-G Handball Team. Next to them were sat Matilhelm and Nerwolfur, both Matari. Second-generation immigrants. The Gallente federation had taken in a vast number of refugees from the Matari-Amarr war and their grandparents had settle in Luminairre after fleeing one of the Amarr Reclaimings. The last couple were Ylamaa and Zarisri. She was Caldari, born and raised on the station. She was only a couple of notches down from Ariken on the bitch scale. Her boyfriend was one of the few Amarrians living in the Federation. His parents fled political persecution and had settled here after being granted asylum in the Federation. In their little group of eight, all four empires of New Eden were represented.

"So its the Night of the Haunting at the weekend." Ariken started. As normal everyone fell quiet. Not that they really wanted to hear what she had to say, but the tantrum and fallout from disturbing her whilst she was saying her piece would be too much trouble. "This year I have something special planned! You girls all need to tell your parents you are staying around mine for a sleep-over."

The Night of the Haunting was an ancient tradition. Like the Valentines equivalent called Night of the Lovers, the Night of the Haunting evolved from the old Earth celebration of Halloween. Through the dark ages of New Eden all knowledge of the existence of Earth, the Sol system, the Milky Way, humanities origins and the massive wormhole that brought them to this cluster was long forgotten. However some of the old celebrations made it through the dark ages, from Christmas to Valentines day. Now twenty thousand years on they are very different to our 21st century versions, but still recognisable.

"A sleep-over?" Ylamaa asked raising an eyebrow.

"Duuurrrr! Thats what your parents need to think!" she said with a look of sarcasm. "I have a plan for a Night of the Haunted party that will beat all!"

Ariken continued with vague instructions to Ylamaa. Setta tuned out as she knew she'd not be involved in the planning as the relative outsider. Ariken wasn't giving any specific details just general information and the whole thing was going to be a massive surprise. Eventually the planning faded out and the various conversations started to run in different directions. Setta felt a hand on her shoulder which then pulled her back. Jark was laying behind her and rolled on top of her.

"I have you now" he whispered as he started to kiss her. She returned the kiss as they lay on the soft green grass of the park. One of his hands moved up her side, sliding under her top and onto her chest. She took the invading wrist and guided the hand back to her hip.

"Awwwwww" he complained, half jokingly.

"Not now with them here!" she replied.

"Get a room you two!" Ylamaa joked.

"Oh there'll be plenty of opportunity for that at the sleepover!" Ariken said in a tone that sent a chill over Setta.


Two nights later Setta was placing some clothes in her overnight bag. She'd hidden her main outfit for the party in the bottom of the bag and now was stuffing unflattering pyjama's on top in case her mother looked. As if on queue she heard a voice behind her.

"Got everything you need sweetie?" her mother asked as she poked her head through the half open door.

"Yes mom."

She paused as if she had something to say. After a few seconds of awkward silence she spoke up.

"There aren't going to be any boys there are there?"

"No mom."

"And no drink."

"No mom. Its just a few girls from school. We are going to be having a sleepover and be telling ghost stories for Night of the Haunting."

Her mother looked slightly happier.

"Oh good. Because you know there is plenty of time after university for boys and having a good time. You need to focus on your education and get the qualifications you need you know!"

"Yes mom! Look I'll be good." Setta said as she zipped up the bag. She passed her mom in the doorway and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Don't worry about me so much, I'm a big girl these days!" she said with a laugh before heading down the stairs.

"And thats what I'm afraid of." muttered her mother as she leant against the door frame watching her daughter disappeared down the stairs.


Setta wiggled into her skirt as Matilhelm was leaning into a mirror putting on her own make-up. The girls were all getting ready at Ariken's huge apartment. Her father was planet-side working and her mother was off station on a mini-vacation which she apparently took every month. Of the four girls Setta got on best with Matilhelm. Ariken clearly wasn't really happy about having her in the group and Ylamaa did whatever Ariken said. Matilhelm, whilst not the nicest girl in school, had accepted Setta more than the other two. When they divided the rooms up in the apartment to get ready it had been a simple decision who shared.

As Setta finished putting on her shoes Matilhelm came over and opened her palm in front of her.

"You need?" she asked with a smile. In her palm was a medicine box, the logo on the lid was well known throughout the Federation. It was a combination pill that acted as a contraceptive as well as defence against all known STDs.

"I don't know." Setta said hesitating.

"Come on, you and Jark have been going four months. What are you, an Amarrian nun?" she laughed.

"We'll I was just waiting. You know, until graduation."

"Honey, you need to loosen up. A hottie like Jark? He won't wait around if he gets a better offer. You know what these boys are like. Plenty of 'sallope' at the college who'll jump on him if you don't." Matilhelm laughed opening the box and picked out one of the small pink pills. "I'm planning to have a very good time tonight! Remind Nerwolfur how lucky he is!" and with that she swallowed the pill.

"I don't know. I wanted my first time with Jark to be special."

"Look, just take one. You don't have to do anything, but if you change your mind later you're protected! Who knows where we are going, damn, we could end up at a five star hotel on the capsuleer decks for all we know. Ariken's father has the cash and the connections. Hey, imagine if we partied with an Empyrean! Anyway, where ever we end up, you might or you might not. Best to be prepared right? Keep your options open?"

Setta shrugged. She could see Matilhelm's logic and picked one of the small pink pills and placed it in her mouth. She hesitated a second before swallowing it.

"Thata girl." Matilhelm winked "These jocks are like decking plates on an Interbus shuttle. Lay them right and you can walk all over them for years!" she laughed and went back to the mirror to finish her make-up.

Setta looked at herself in the full length mirror. She had to admit she looked good. If she could get away from Ariken and Ylamaa and get Jark on his own for a while this could be a very good night. She wasn't sure about how far she'd let him go. So far she'd stopped him from going beyond having his hand up her top but she knew Matilhelm had a point. She was probably one of a handful in her year that still had her 'V' plates. How long could she hope to hold onto Jark if she kept knocking him back?

Just then Ariken stuck her head around the door?

"Hey girls are you.... oh, you wearing that?" she asked Setta.

Setta glanced down at her outfit. The tight top showed enough cleavage to be not too obvious but enough get Jark smiling. The skirt was short and flared. Her shoes were kitten heels as she she didn't want to wear high-heels not knowing where they were going.

"Yes. Why?"

"Oh right.... its, erm, nice. Anyway, transport is here. We need to pick up the boys and head to our top secret destination! Chop, chop!" she clapped her hands.

With not a small feeling of dread, Setta ignored the dig and followed her out to the waiting limo.


The ride there was surprisingly fun. After picking the boys up Ariken had produced a couple of bottles of Gallente champagne and even Setta had partaken. Despite the veiled insult before they left, Ariken was actually being nice. It was about 30 minutes later that the limo pulled up and stopped. They all got out of the limo and looked around confused. They were on an industrial deck. All around them were dirty factories and silos.

"Urrrgghhhhh. What are we doing here?" Ylamaa moaned. "We'e not going to some abandoned factory are we? Gross!"

"You'll see." grinned Ariken "Its going to be epic!". She led on towards a small booth set against an immense featureless building some 50 metres away. A young man in a security uniform exited the booth and approached the group.

"Hey babes" Ariken addressed the guard. Setta noticed Chigas tense up.

"L, l, l , look you need to be o, o, o, o, out by 11am station time. If the new shift starts you'll be l, l, l, l, locked up!" he stammered as he approached a door set into the immense wall. He removed a key and opened a small panel which exposed a keypad. He keyed in a sequence of numbers and the door unlocked with a loud click. Setta noted the Federal Police Service badge on the door and swallowed hard.

"We'll be back way before then" Ariken purred and stood on her tiptoes to give the man a kiss on the cheek. Setta saw Chigas step forward but Jark held him back. They all entered the door and Setta jumped as a huge clang resonated as it was closed behind them.

"Who was that guy" Setta whispered to Jark.

"An old boyfriend of Ariken."

Setta looked at him in disbelief that Ariken would date the guy they just saw. Jark saw her face and continued.

"I know. Apparently he was a straight 'A' student. 99 point average. Ariken became his girlfriend when she was in danger of flunking two years ago so needed a sap she could use to get her grades up. They dated, he coached her, she acted like his girlfriend but she was just stringing him on. Once she was over a 75 point average she dumped him. Poor guy never got over her. Before she dug her claws in he was going to be some egg-head professor, after she ate him up and spat him out he dropped out of college and now he's a damned security guard" Jark whispered "He'll still do anything for her even after she ruined his life. Chicks, eh? They can really frack you up!"

Setta gave him a playful punch in the arm.

The eight of them walked along the corridor. Ahead they could see the walls and ceiling of the corridor disappeared and it turned into some sort of elevated walkway. As they emerged into the open they realised they were inside some sort of huge room which was pitch black. The light from the corridor behind them made a small puddle of light in which they all stood.

"Where in Divinities Edge are we Ari?" Jark moaned "This had better be good."

"Oh its very good!" she replied as she walked over to a small console set against the railing of the elevated walkway. "We're spending the night inside a little bit of history"

She pressed a few buttons and the hanger started to light up. Huge spotlights activated with a thunk, one by one. In the centre was an immense starship, it looked like it had been almost destroyed. It clearly had been in some massive battle and lost. The group fell silent as they took in the sight of the ruined starship. The walkway continuing to a hatch halfway up the broken hull.

"Boys and girls, I give you our home for tonight." Ariken announced "The Drake class starship which the infamous serial killer, the Jita Ripper operated from, slicing and dicing innocents, before dying horribly himself in a fireball as the Capsuleers dispensed true justice."

To be continued... Part 2


  1. Nice reference to one of your old stories and one of my favorites. With all the references to caldari prime, I expected Leviathan wreckage, nice twist. I can't wait to see where you go with this

    1. Leviathan wreckage was my original idea but had trouble coming up with a baddy for when things go all wrong. Thats when I thought back to the Ripper story.