Friday, January 2, 2015

The Last Night in Nisuwa

Fiction Friday plus its a rather long one given people are probably not doing much today. Happy 2015 and hope your year is full of pew-pew, ISK, minerals or whatever you do in Eve!

The Last Night in Nisuwa

Gryve skillfully meandered through the packed bar, a plastic tray containing a dozen one litre glasses of strong Matari ale was balanced expertly on her finger tips. Two Hulk class exhumers had docked an hour ago and the bar was full of thirsty 'roid miners. It was typically her luck that two barges had docked so close to each other. As she approached the table she put on her best smile. A drunken roar went up as the group realised their drinks order had arrived. Gryve quickly distributed the drinks and managed not to flinch when she felt rough fingers playing with the waistband of her short pleated skirt. She glanced down to see one of the miners pushing a note into the waistband.

"There ya go love. Have one on us!" he said giving a grin that showed he had half a dozen missing teeth.

She politely smiled back and returned to the bar retrieving the merge two-credit note slipped into her skirt's waistband. How did her life fall so far in such a short length of time? She was actually thankful for the tip, ironically as once she had enough she'd be able to escape this place and not have to put up being pawed by drunken asteroid miners. Two years ago her family had moved from the heart of the Federation out into deep low-sec space. A new opportunity without the bonds of bureaucracy her father had said. A temperate planet, unspoilt by heavy industry where they would become colonists and live the good life on a farm. It was clean living, it was healthy living, it was utterly and completely boring! She was 17 at that time and was wanting to go to university but her family could not afford that. So she ended up stuck with them on a back-water planet far away from the bright lights of the Federation. Isolated on a small settlement on the 5th planet of the Nisuwa solar system she nearly went stir-crazy. Going from a massive bustling Federation city of millions to a small town of 300 was too much for her. Thats where she met him. A year after they arrived another family moved in to the town looking for the quiet life. Bruffrer was their son and he was in the same situation as her. Forced by his family to live on this backwater planet. 21 years old, Gallente, gorgeous. After being together for nearly a year they decide they needed to get back to the Federation. They snuck onto a supply-ship to get to the orbital space station above. From there they'd planned to make some credits and then get an InterBus shuttle to Dodixie. She wanted to be an actress and he would be a stunt-man in the massive holoreel industry. Really, had they both been that naive? Yes, yes they had she thought. It had all come apart on that station. She managed to get a job waiting tables in a miners bar on deck 20 and he got a job with maintenance scrubbing atmospheric processors. They were saving money, but it would take them six months to save enough for the shuttle tickets back to Federation space. Longer if Bruffrer didn't stop drink so much of their savings every night. They relationship had become strained under the stress. Then three months ago there had been a massive fight at the bar she worked in. Two rival mining crews had got into an argument over veldspar or something silly and utterly trashed the place. The owner had sent the serving staff home whilst the maintenance crews fixed the damage. She'd walked into her crappy apartment tired, bruised and depressed to find her boyfriend on top of some skinny Caldari slut on the sofa. She'd kicked him out and never saw him again. She couldn't go back to her parents, so she had stayed on the station. Her savings were slowly increasing, but too slowly. He had been the major wage earner. A waitresses salary would not quickly get her back to the Federation. So here she was. Sharing a run-down one-bedroom apartment with two other girls and stuffing her nightly tips in a tin labeled "Escape Fund". The local InterBus fare scheduled was fixed to the back of the tin. She had crossed out each hop in the journey with a thick black pen as her savings reached that point. So far she could make it to the system of Heydieles. Still in low-sec and still two solar systems away from the border of Federation space proper.

As she reached the bar she saw the owner standing there with a suited Caldari man she'd never seen before. He was tall and very, very thin. In fact he looked sick. Her boss beckoned her over. Whilst the station was officially State Protectorate and therefore Caldari, the Gallente Federation had captured it years ago. Most Caldari had left for systems controlled by their State and the Gallente had moved in enmass. However, there were still some Caldari about, especially at the top.

"Gryve, I'm loaning you out for the night. Grab your stuff and go with Mr Shigakkari here."

Gryve put her hands on her hips defiantly.

"Loaning me out? What am I, a spare chair? A box of glasses?"

Her boss sighed.

"Look Gryve don't give me any shit. I'm not happy out it either as we're not exactly over staffed right now. This is important. You are to go with this guy and work tonights shift at another club where they are even more short staffed. I'll get a discount on my rent for the week which makes ME happy and you get triple time which should make YOU happy. OK? Win-win and all that shit?"

Gryve looked stunned. Triple time? Not something she would argue with. She glanced at the suit who just stood there and suppressed a shiver. She had no idea who he was but he looked like one of these Caldari corporate executives who would screw you over for an extra point two of a percent if he could.

"I don't know." she said hoping to get even more.

"Miss, please, we are pushed for time." The suit finally spoke. "I will personally add in a hundred credit bonus if we are out of here and on our way to the other establishment within two minutes!"

That was the clincher for Gryve. She mentally did the sums in her head. Triple time and a hundred credits would push her 'escape fund' to reaching the solar system of OMS. One jump from Federation space. She grabbed her bag from behind the bar and was now heading to the exit followed by the sickly looking stick man. He finally caught up with her in the lift.

"So what's the deal?" she asked as the doors closed and the man pressed an ID card against the lift console.

"At another establishment they have suffered a severe and sudden staff shortage. The club caters for VIPs so being short staffed is not an option, these are the type of people who do not wait for their drinks. We did a quick scan of all registered waiting staff on the station. The club has a very strict recruitment policy, they do not hire just anyone. You appeared to look like you would fit in for the night. As we were desperate we agreed a rent rebate for your current employer and the enhanced pay rate for you for one night."

Gryve listened and realised something. A rent rebate could only mean one thing. The station owners were involved. This was highly unusual. Why would a mega-corp be bothered if a club on one of its stations was understaffed? Before she could ask the lift door opened. However it was not a busy promenade that it opened onto, but a small room with heavily armed guards. She started to get very nervous. The station lifts always opened onto street level. Well the ones she used anyway.

"What is this?" she asked.

The suit looked at her like she'd just asked a stupid question. "A security station. Why?"

She just shrugged as he led her out. They approached the desk and the man handed over a card.

"One guest to sign in." he said to the guard. "You'll need to give your ID." he said to Gryve.

She fished the card from her bag and passed it to the guard who eyed it suspiciously before going to work on the terminal.

"Minor flag sir, on the local database. Normally that would be enough to refuse entry at this level." the guard said in a measured tone.

"What's the flag?" the suit asked casually.

"Your guest is on the Federal Police database. Missing persons report filed some nine months ago. Local police followed up with a 'Contacted and closed' note."

The Suit looked at Gryve and raised an eyebrow.

"I was stuck in a farming community of 300 people with my parents. I left. I'm an adult. I cannot see how you can class it as running away, I wasn't a child." she said defensively.

The Suit turned back to the guard. "I will personally authorise her. Put her down as my responsibility."

The guard nodded and tapped something into the console. She was then guided towards a scanner and bathed in a blue light. Once they were sure she wasn't carrying any prohibited items they were let though. Finally they exited the security room and stepped out back into the station proper.

Gryve gasped. She had never seen a deck like it. Massive windows looked out into deep space. Ponds and streams flowed with water winding around real trees and plants. It was amazing.

"What is this place?" she asked as the suit motioned for her to follow.

"Deck five. Why?"

Gryve stopped dead. It hit her all at once. Like many structures in New Eden, you followed the money to the top. The bottom levels of space stations were the cheapest. The top ten decks were usually reserved for the elite. CEOs, Executive Directors, music and film stars. Unless you had vast money or power, you couldn't get past deck 10.

She jogged to catch up with the suit who was heading to a small group of shops.

"Where are we going?"

"To get you dressed!" he said sharply without turning. "Your current outfit is fine for a sports bar frequented by rough miner types but is utterly unacceptable at the club."

Grye looked down at her strappy white top with the asteroid print and bar name on the front, light blue pleated skirt, white ankle socks and trainers. She agreed with him, probably not the attire for a waitress in a VIP club.

The majority of shops appeared to be closed. It was coming to 2300 hours station-time so that was unsurprising. One appeared to be still lit although the 'closed' sign hung on the door. The suit ignored the sign and pushed through the door.

"Kasata! Darling!" An older Gallente woman walked over and embraced the suit within seconds of him entering. The shop appeared to be a very fashionable boutique.

"Illuele. You have my gratitude for this."

"No problem Darling," she replied "and I take it this is our subject?"

Gryve looked at the flamboyant woman.

"Yes. I know its a tall order, but she needs to be ready to wait at The Falcon Club in fifty five minutes."

The lady approached Gryve and looked her up and down whilst slowly circling her.

"Darling. No problem! You picked an excellent canvas for me. You always have an eye for these things. You should work in the fashion industry!"

Mr Shigakkari nodded and turned to Gryve.

This is Mistress Illuele. She'll get you a uniform and have you dropped to the club. The owner is expecting you. At 4am one of my staff will be outside the club to return you to the lower decks. You're wages, any bonus and the hundred extra I promised will be transferred direct to your account on completion of your shift. Good bye Gryve."

Gryve wanted to say something but just couldn't find the words. As the door swung shut behind him she thought she should have asked him how did he know her account details. Then she realised he probably knew more about her than herself.


Gryve stepped out of the vehicle at just before midnight. The Falcon Club was a huge imposing building. It was jet black and shimmered in the night-time lights of the station promenade. A massive platinum sculpture of a Falcon was placed above the red double doors. Two large Brutor bouncers saw her approach and one whispered something into a throat mic. As she approached a Gallente man opened the door from the inside.


She nodded and he suddenly was smiling.

"Thank you! You are really saving our asses tonight." he said opening the door for her. "I'm Obacan and I own the Falcon Club. We had two waitresses quit early in their shift and we were already short staffed. I'll get you settled in. Simple floor service. You'll have six tables to run. Nothing difficult."

They entered the main room and Gryve gasped. It was nothing like the 'roid miners bar she worked on down on deck 20. This was like something from something in a Gallente blockbuster movie. Deep red velvets and black satin gave the club a gothic feel. It was busy with most tables already filled. Both male and female dancers swayed, scantily clad on podiums and in cages suspended from the ceiling. It had a feel of pure opulence and was obviously very, very expensive.

The reasons why two waitresses would quit mid-shift played on her mind but she decided she need the extra money more than she needed to know. She took off her coat and walked to one of the massive mirrors that were on most walls. She gazed at the stranger staring back at her. Her fifty minutes in Illuele's boutique had turned her from a waitress working at a miners bar to an elegant waitress from a high-class private members club. Her hair, make up and outfit were stunning.

She then thought about what she was wearing, what they had actualy dressed her in. She decided finally the extra money would not be worth certain things.

"Look, Obacan, I'm a bit worried. The outfit I'm wearing, I mean the dress and the shoes are OK, but the underwear I was made to put on. I don't do that, my body is not for sale." she said to Obacan sheepishly.

Obacan laughed. "Don't worry. I know how it looks but Mistress Illuele has full reign to dress our staff and she selects the uniform for the Falcon Club. The revealing attire and what she terms as the exquisite lingerie is her choice. Something about its supposed to give you confidence in the presence of these VIPs. Seriously, you are expected to wait tables and serve drinks, nothing more, nothing less. The only time any customer is likely to see any of that underwear is if you bend over wrong. Bend at the knees and you'll be fine! Yes, some of the patrons may get a bit flirty and a bit hands on but our policies are clear on that. We expect you to handle any such incident diplomatically but firmly. These people are rich and powerful so we really don't want to upset them, but neither do they have the right to go too far. After working in a miners bar I don't you'll experience anything you haven't before nor have any issues dealing with our slightly more refined guests. If you do, please come and see me discreetly and we'll sort it."

She smiled, a lot happier now and headed to the bar and collected a gleaming silver tray of drinks.


Two hours later and she was dead on her feet. The fashionable killer-heels Illuele had provided looked amazing but were not made for waiting in. However, Gryve had never made as much cash in tips ever. Five of her six tables now stood empty. She was taking drinks over to the last couple still sat at one of her tables. They were a married pair of executives out here for business from what she overheard. They had also asked for the bill when ordering their drinks so these would be their last she assumed. As the man was pressing his thumb to the datapad to accept the charges Gryve felt a soft hand glide up her leg. She looked over her shoulder to see the lady take a credit-note from her purse and gently slip it in the lace top of Gryve's stockings. Gryve kept her cool and just smiled even though a complete stranger had their hand up her barely there see-though skirt. The lady removed her hand, gave a cheeky wink and picked up her drink.

Back at the bar she handed the payment datapad back to the barkeeper.

"Think you'll make the last two hours?" he said with a smile.

"I will, my feet may be destroyed beyond repair, but I'll survive until four." she replied.

"Tips going OK? Some of our guests can be a little hands on." he said nodding over to the couple she just served.

"You saw that then? I usually work in a miners bar on deck 20. I hate it, but with my current situation I'll accept it as it means I won't have to put up with it for so long. Plus I'd take faux-lessy pawing as opposed to rough-palmed, groping miners any day of the week." Gryve smiled retrieving the note the woman had slipped into her stockings. She looked at the note open mouthed in shock when she saw it was 100 credits. A contact number was hand written in one corner.

"Not so faux eh?" the barman laughed "And seriously, you usually work in a miners bar?" he asked surprised.

"Yeah. Some deal was struck to second me here for the night. Apparently you lost some staff tonight? What happened there? I mean this gig appears to be too good to just jack in. The tips are amazing."

"I'm not sure. Traude and Yollyllere took drinks to one of the upstairs VIP rooms and next thing I heard they are no longer working for us. Never saw them leave. Only thing I can guess is its some asshat CEO who took a dislike to them and told management to sack them just because they could. Happens occasionally. Our guests are very rich and very powerful. They can also act like spoilt kids."

"Thats horrid!" she replied. "Some people!" shaking her head.

The barman nodded. "Yeah, with great power comes great asshattery. Looks like you have new customers." he indicated behind her.

Gryve turned around and saw a group of Caldari men had taken one of her tables. Bankers? She shook her feet, engaged her best smile and walked over to take their order.


The Caldari bankers had proved to be more than a handful. They had been very drunk already and tried it on with her. She had managed to tactfully deal with their advances. They then tried to get on stage with one of the dancers and the bouncers had appeared from nowhere to escort them out. Thankfully they had paid for the expensive bottle of champagne that they had ordered. Gryve was back at the bar counting down the ninety minutes.

"Damn it where is Halertan?" the barman growled referring to another of the waitresses Gryve had met earlier. She shrugged in response.

"The VIP upstairs has just buzzed for service. Where the hell is she?"

"I could go?" Gryve offered.

"No. Thanks but thats the guy we've lost two waitresses to already tonight. He needs someone experienced at dealing with these rich asshats. He'd eat you up and spit you out!"

Gryve watched him glance nervously about. He nearly jumped out of his skin when the buzzer went a second time. "Shit, one more buzz and I'll be the one losing my job." he moaned.

"Look, I've got less than an hour and a half left, let me go. Whats the worse that could happen? I don't care, the manager can sack me for show. The VIP doesn't know I'm not really an employee does he?"

The barman shrugged in resignation. "I guess. You sure?"

Gryve nodded, picked up her tray and walked towards the discreet stair case that led to the VIP rooms. The upper level was small, just four doors were there, three stood partly open. She glanced into one in curiosity and saw the breath-taking VIP suite. Again she was transported to some Gallente blockbuster movie and could imagine Serpentis crime-bosses spending their ill-gotten gains in one of these surrounded by booze and drugs, and of course glamorous mols. Gryve approached the one closed door. A feint beat of music could be heard from within. She pressed the doorcall and waited. A moment later the door opened and she stepped in. She was instantly transported directly right into that Gallente blockbuster movie fantasy. A Caldari man was sat on the sofa opposite. A stunningly attractive woman wearing very little was located either side of him. Around the suite a few other couples and singles whispered in conversation and lounged about on the various sofas and armchairs. In the corner two women in just their underwear kissed each other passionately.

"You are not Halertan?" the Caldari man said in a measured tone.

"No sir. I'm Gryve and I am here to get your drinks. How may I be of service?"

The man leant forward and looked her up and down. A slightly bemused smile on his face. "You're new. I know pretty much everyone who works here."

"Yes sir. This is my first night at the Falcon Club."

The Caldari man smile, glimpsing over to the two women in the corner.

"Staffing problems I presume?" he smirked returning his gaze to Gryve.

"What can I get you?" Gryve asked again, looking to deflect the question and hoping the anger she felt at this asshat wasn't detectable.

"Amarrian Platinum Imperial Reserve Vodka, bring the bottle. I also require three bottles of Gallente Champagne. I think there is still some Agrallarier II '03 left. Also ice, we are going to need a lot of ice."

Gryve nodded with a smile and left the room. As she could almost feel his eyes burning into her back. She returned down to the bar and gave the order. The barman placing the bottles on the tray as she recounted the order to him.

"A 12,000 credit round. That VIP doesn't do things by half!" Gryve was glad she wasn't holding the tray as she would have dropped it.

"What? Twelve thousand credits? You cannot be serious!"

"That bubbly is two and a half large a pop. The vodka makes up the rest. Probably only 12 bottles of that in the Federation. Trade with the Amarr has suffered of late with the Empyrean Wars. Stocks of the real premium stuff are running low so prices are running high."

Gryve left the bar shaking her head. On the tray that she was holding very carefully with both hands were bottles worth more than she would earn in a year and a half. She felt angry. This dick could throw money around that which could make a massive difference to a dozen people that were barely scraping a living on this station. She pressed the door call button with her elbow and waited. She waited a lot longer this time and soon her arms were getting heavy. Was he doing this on purpose? Hoping she'd drop these expensive drinks? Put her in debt with the club for years? What sick game was he playing? Finally the door opened. Everything was as it was before. She entered and placed the large tray in front of the Caldari man.

"Shall I pour?" Gryve asked doing her best to remain civil.

"Please." he replied with that annoying smirk.

Gryve placed some ice in the glass and cracked open the bottle of vodka that was worth nearly five months of her salary. She poured a generous measure and handed it to the man. He took it with a nod of appreciation.

"And the others?" Gryve asked.

"They can serve themselves. Please, take a seat. Ladies, please excuse us."

The two scantily clad beauties either side of him smiled and rose. They relocated to a small sofa in the corner.

"Sorry, I cannot. I have to get back to work." she stammered.

"No you don't. I messaged the owner whilst you were getting the drinks. I told him you'd be joining us."

"Do you always get what you ask for?" she asked guardedly as she sat in a chair opposite trying to keep her distance.

"You say 'ask' like someone would ever say no to me." he said sipping the vodka.

Gryve realised this man was supremely confident and that his wealth and power meant nobody ever did say no to him. Actually she thought that he probably never really asked, he demanded politely.

"Must be nice to be like that." she replied.

"No. Its fracking boring." he replied. His sudden expletive catching her by surprise. "Much more fun to deal with people who aren't complete kiss-asses like most I meet."

"What, like the two waitresses you got sacked earlier?"

He raised an eyebrow. His expression showing he was surprised by her.

"Who told you that?" he asked sipping his drink.

"Why? You want to get them sacked as well?" Gryve replied, the words out of her mouth before she could stop them.

"I haven't got anyone sacked. Those two ladies decided to quit. There, pick that up, by your feet there."

Gryve looked down, there was some black clothing by her feet. She reached down and picked it up. It was a basque dress with wispy skirt identical to the one she wore. She saw another by her feet. She spun around and looked at the two women in the corner. They wore identical shoes and lingerie to what she was wearing. The two waitresses!

"I get the feeling you do get whatever you want. However some people just cannot be bought." Gryve said turning back to the VIP. "And no matter how much money you have. In the end you cannot take it with you."

"Yes, yes and yes."

"Yes to all? What do you mean."

"Yes, I always get what I want. Yes, everyone can be brought, everyone has a price. And yes, you can take it with you sort to speak... if you never die."

Gryve swallowed hard in fear as the realisation hit her. This was no corporate executive or financial guru. He was no CEO or mogul in the music industry. He was a Capsuleer. An immortal starship captain. Some called them eggers or pod-jockeys. However, the only name for them that sprung to Gryve's mind was "Angels of Death". The man sitting opposite her could be a hauler or industrialist. However that was unlikely. Almost certainly he was a combat pilot. A man who had killed thousands of people over his career."

"I think I should go." Gryve whispered meekly, now very intimidated with the man sat opposite.

"Not yet. I want to disprove your theory first. Cat?"

An Amarrian woman who was sat in the corner chatting stood and walked over. Gryve watched her. She moved like her name, graceful like a cat. Gryve couldn't shake the feeling that she was the pray. Her clothing was exquisite, some designer dress scooped low at the front. Gryve didn't know the designer but guessed the short dress probably cost the same as a years salary to her.

"Gryve this is Cat, Cat this is Gryve who believes some people cannot be bought." the man smiled.

Cat smiled at Gryve and sat down next to her. Gryve could smell expensive perfume and feel the heat of the other womans body as she was sat so close. A soft hand gently squeezed her knee.

"As this is our last night here in Nisuwa I thought we'd have some fun in challenging that theory, what do you think Cat?"

Gryve smiled weakly, now very worried.


Next day......

The barman was checking the inventory of the bar in the Falcon Club. It was an hour before opening so he was ensuring he had all the bottles with sufficient contents for the night. The click of heels made him look up. He saw Gryve approaching.

"Hey you! Pleasantly surprised to see you back! You look happy."

Gryve smiled back as she reached the bar.

"You did so well they gave you a permanent job?" he asked. "We need more good staff after that asshat got Traude and Yollyllere fired."

"He didn't get them fired. They quit of their own choice." Gryve replied casually.

The barman looked at her confused.

"The VIP got chatting to them and Traude had mentioned something about some people cannot be bought. Yollyllere agreed. This guy likes a challenge so went out of his way to disprove their theory."

The barman scratched his head.

"So what DID happen?" he asked

"When they said they couldn't be bought he offered them fifty thousand each to strip to their underwear and kiss. He then offered them an extra hundred thousand each if they quit there and then and spent the rest of the night continuing in the corner of his VIP suite."

The barman nearly dropped the bottle.

"Seriously? They each left here with a hundred and fifty large!"

"Yes. Capsuleers, they are 'special' aren't they!"

"He was an egger? Figures. So did the boss hire you to replace Traude and Yollyllere? I'm expecting they won't be back after that windfall?"

"No, Obacan no longer owns the Falcon Club. I do."

The barmans jaw almost hit the floor.

"But, but, but, this place is worth a few million credits easy! How in Divinities Edge could you afford......"

He stopped suddenly and looked suspiciously at Gryve who smiled at him, winked and turned towards her new office at the back of the club. She closed the door behind her and saw a large bunch of red roses on the desk. She picked up the card.

'To Gryve. Best of luck with your new club. I enjoyed myself last night. I know Drack did too. Hope you don't have any regrets. Everyone in New Eden has their price. Love, Cat.'

Gryve smiled as she recalled the night before and the way the two capsuleers had utterly proved anyone could be bought. She sat at her desk and picked up her datapad. Waitress in a miners bar to owner of an exclusive executive club in 18 hours. Not bad going at all. Movement caught her eye and she looked out of the small viewport. Two massive Archon class carriers undocked from the hanger exit and slowed, stopping just outside the station undock. Their golden hulls glinting in the bright sunlight. A sudden flash of pulsing red energy flared and both ships vanished vanished. Their jump drives creating an artificial wormhole propelling them to a distant star system.

"Good bye Cat and Drack. Hope your new home is as interesting as here!"


  1. (I hope this not an accidental double-comment)

    I did not see that ending coming :)

    But an Amarrian woman nicknamed 'Cat'? Hmmm.

    1. Cat is an actual character. Yes, not very Amarrian but not of all of us think about that when creating a toon ;)

  2. Right, I remember reading that story - it's been a while.

    I don't think that Cat being 'not very Amarrian' is a problem: when you come down to the level of the individuals, even an empire like Amarr is rather heterogeneous, even if you look at only the True Amarr.

    But it's a good thing that 'Cat' is just shorthand for 'Catrina', otherwise she and I would have to have :words:.

  3. Great story, I had no clue where this one was leading, so the twist caught me out.
    Do you ever think of making 'follow up' stories with some of your older stuff?

  4. Nice story.
    What I am interested in... Was the ownership of the club Gryve's price for whatever she did, or was that option realized only after she got paid in cash? :-)

    1. As I imagined it, Cat or Drack offered to buy the club for her if she did X to prove that whilst she said she was not for sale and some people cannot be bought.... everyone has their price.

    2. So what did you imagine her doing as X? :)

    3. Have you ever seen Wild Things? :o)

    4. Nope, probably should though