Friday Fiction. Escape pod here!
Just when I thought things were settling it all starts going Pete Tong again. I knew 2016 was going to be a bad year. Just a short follow up today. Will finish this story next week I promise! Part 1 is here.
The Red Light - Part 2
Ahka swallowed. It was a test indeed. No good Amarrian woman would dress like that!
"Ready for the tour?" she asked cheerfully.
"I'm not feeling well." he lied.
"Oh come on Amarr! Live a little. I promise we won't corrupt you!" she laughed taking him by the arm and leading him to the door.
"Have you ever been in anything that wasn't Amarrian?" she asked as they strolled down the corridor.
"No." he replied curtly.
The ship was certainly a lot different to the ones he was used too. The structure was curved. Almost organic. The normal golds were replaced with hues of light green. It was also quiet. Amarrian ships had less automation and therefore bigger crews. There was also another difference. No slaves. On Amarrian ships there were usually a few slaves at least. Matari wearing glave collars shuffling around doing the menial tasks aboard the ship. Ahka looked around in wonderment.
"How do you keep everything so tidy without...." he stuttered remembering that the Gallente were strictly opposed to slavery "...a large crew?" he finally finished.
"Automation. We use a variety or small drones and robots to do most of the work on our ships."
Ahka nodded. He'd heard the Gallente used drones much more than they did for everything from working the fields to fighting their battles.
They continued down to a bank of lifts, passing a few crew both on and off duty as they walked.
"Where are we going?" Ahka asked nervously as the lift accelerated.
"For a drink. You drink don't you Amarrian." she chuckled.
"Despite what you have heard about us from your propaganda, yes we Amarrians know how to have a good time." he replied dryly.
The lift slowed and the doors opened. Ahka froze. Why was he being tested like this?
The scene before him was like no other he'd ever seen. It was a huge bar complete with busy dance floor. All around people were drinking and dancing. He slowly walked out of the lift led by his hand. He was too stunned by the sights to register a strange woman was holding his hand. They reached the bar.
"Do they have wine?" Ahka asked nervously.
"Wine? Seriously Amarrian?" she asked with a strange expression. The barman approached and she shouted something to him that Ahka couldn't hear over the music. He nodded and walked away. Ahka leaned back against the bar and looked in wonderment. How could the Gallente have accomplished so much and yet were free to behave like this. He watched in fascination at two people dancing, occasionally slowing to kiss before separating again to continue moving to the strange music. There was no separation between the bodies. People were grinding together in strange dances that would have got them arrested on his planet.
Ahka looked down at the drink held out in front of him. It wasn't wine. It was green. He gently took hold of the glass looking at it suspiciously.
"What is.... this?" he asked.
"It's a Gallente Prime Sunrise! Come on Amarrian, try some of our culture. You'll probably never get another chance!"
She indicated over to a sofa against one of the walls and he followed sipping the drink. It was surprisingly pleasant.
"So don't you have bars on Amarr ships?" she asked as they sat.
"Not like THIS!" Ahka exclaimed. "We have bars but not this level of... sin!" he said searching for the right word.
"Yeah this one is pretty different. Its a good ship to serve on. So do you have a girl waiting for you back home? Some homely Amarrian?"
"I am to be married." he replied uncomfortable about talking about his private life.
"Nice. What's she like?" the Gallente woman wouldn't shut up.
"I hear she is very beautiful and devout." he said with a smile.
"What? Wait a sec! You're to be married and you've never met her?" she replied in shock.
"Yes. Our mothers agreed on the union. It is common on our planet."
The Gallente woman shook her head.
"That is so weird. What happens if your not compatible?"
"Our faith will help us!"
"What if she's bad in bed?"
"What if I am?"
"Wait... you've never....."
"Can we talk about something else." Ahka said blushing.
"One more question and I'll change the subject. I promise."
Ahka eyed her suspiciously.
"You've at least kissed a girl before?"
Ahka blushed and looked down at his drink.
"Wow. That's one strange planet you come from Amarrian! Proper old school!"
Ahka downed his drink.
"Why don't you get us more drinks?" he suggested "And think about a new line of questioning?"
The woman laughed, picked up the empty glasses and headed to the bar.
He sat back on the sofa and looked onto the dance floor. He noted a few other races there. There were a couple of Caldari and two Matari! Ahka tensed. Of course he'd seen Matari before but they'd always been slaves. Either hooked on Vitoc or wearing glave collars to control them. These two were free. He tried to tell himself to relax. Two free Matari on his old ship would have been dangerous but these weren't escaped slaves. They had no cause to harm him. Of did they? He was about to make for the exit when his companion returned with the drinks. These were red.
"What's that?" he asked.
"It's a Matari Rust Bucket! I told you I'm on a mission to force you to experience new things. Next cocktail will be Caldari so drink up! We've got a lot of work to do Amarrian!"
Ahka sipped the new drink keeping one eye on the two Matari on the dance floor.
To be concluded...