Friday, January 25, 2013

Into The Black - Part 3 - Hiding

Fan Fiction Friday. If Eve fiction isn't your thing and you'd, in the words of Captain Blackadder, rather French-kiss a skunk, why not try here.


Into The Black - Part 3 - Hiding

Kara opened her eyes, it was pitch black. A small button somewhere in front of her glowed a dull green. Had it been a nightmare? No. She knew by her aching body and the soft hum that surrounded her that she'd ran for her life from people infected with some form of bio-weapon and had jumped onto a starship to escape. She recalled after they got away from the planet the captain had shown her to a bed and she had pretty much passed out straight away. She rose and gingerly moved over to the glowing button being careful to try not to bump into anything in the darkness. She depressed the button and the lights flickered on. She shielded her eyes to adjust. The cabin was tiny. Hardly enough room for the small single bed and wardrobe. She investigated the draws, the room belonged to a woman. She looked in the small wardrobe. Amarrian by the look of it Kara thought as she saw the robes. Then she flicked through to more revealing Gallente style dresses. A Caldari military uniform. A Matari outfit that looked it was designed for combat rather than high-fashion. The woman who had this cabin had clothes from every empire and the styles ranged from ultra-conservative to the very revealing.

A sharp clanging sound in the distance caught her attention. She opened the door and looked both ways. The narrow corridor appeared to end in a communal area to the left, to the right where the sound was coming from there was a hatch. She turned right and went through the hatch which opened into a small room. A ladder went down into the darkness, the sounds emanating from the black pit suggested that the engineering bay and engine room was down there. Another hatch on the back wall opened into the cargo bay.

Dorn looked up as Kara entered. She surveyed the room and noted that there was not a lot of cargo. A few crates here and there, but generally it was empty, except for a long black battered container and Dorn holding a hammer and crowbar.

"You OK?" the captain asked.

"I suppose. Look, thanks for getting me out of there."

Dorn just nodded and went back to hammering against the locked catches on the crate.

"Whats in there?" Kara asked when he paused for a rest.

"No idea. But its what I was delivering to your bosses when all that broke out. I want some more answers."

"Do you really want to be opening that after...."

With a crack the lock broke off and the lid swung upwards causing Captain Dorn to jump backwards. The contents of the crate were hidden in a fine mist that filled the crate. Slowly the breeze in the cargo bay from the environmental systems started to disburse the mist. It was a body. It appeared dead with pale grey skin. Several veins were visible which appeared to have a silver hue to them. Kara thought of her friend the doctor. As he was changing his veins appeared to take on a silver hue.

"Any idea if that is going to get up and murder us?" Kara whispered.

"I don't know. But I aint taking that risk!" Captain Dorn said as he drew his gun.

"What is it?"

"They are known as True Slaves. Sansha's Nation zombies. That's what your good Doctor friend was working on." Captain Dorn pulled the trigger blowing a hole in the corpses head.

"Just to be sure" he said as he kicked the lid shut.


The station above the nearby planet was chaos, it was thousands over capacity and its hangers were littered with damaged drop ships and surface-to-ship shuttles. The petite blonde woman picked her way through the crowds to the lift to the command section. Two armed guards stood either side and eye'd her carefully.

"Sorry, this is a highly restricted area. Move along."

"Oh" she replied in a sweet yet sultry voice "Highly restricted? So I guess if only important people get through here, and if my card does this..." she swiped a passcard along the reader by the door which immediately opened ".... I suppose you should call me Marm!".

The soldiers saluted, their expressions unsure. Usually it was uniformed officers who entered the command centre. Not a petite woman in a black, figure hugging one-piece. The woman entered the lift and the doors closed.

If the promenade on the station was chaos, the control room was organised chaos. The plasma storm on the surface on planet III had caused an influx of refugees and everyone was struggling to cope. A dozen people were working consoles in the large curved room. A huge window looked out onto the hostile planet below. She walked up to the man who appeared to be in charge. He looked from his datapad, surprised to see a beautiful, but unauthorised woman standing in front of him.

"And you are?"

"Miss Smith. I am here on Corporate orders. I need to track a ship that left during the storm."

"Really? Well take a ticket and wait in line. We're too busy with evacuations to track one ship that was lucky enough to escape that storm." the man snapped.

The room went quiet following his outburst.

"You are under stress, so I'll ignore the tone of your voice. However, this is not a request, it is....."

"You don't come here and order me about!" the man snapped "I am....." he never finished his sentance. Her fingers jabbed into his throat at lightning speed, crushing his windpipe. The rest of the staff looked on in shock as their boss dropped to his knees, clutching his throat and gasping in vain for a breath that would never come. One woman started to slowly edge towards the lift. Without looking directly in her direction the agent grabbed a pistol from her bag and shot her in the head.

Suddenly all hell broke loose as people tried to escape. The agent calmly executed each one before they could escape or call for help. Even though people were running in different directions she cooly shot each one without moving from where she was stood. One shot, one kill.

After the last person fell the agent went up to the main console and brought up ship scans for during the time of the storm. Hundreds of ships fled the neighbouring planet on the news of the plasma storm. She narrowed the coordinates for ships leaving from the vicinity of the city that housed the corporations facility. That got the list down to under one hundred. She then discounted ships that came straight to dock at the station. Down to half a dozen. Three of those were registered company ships, evacuating assets. She looked at the three remaining ships, people who were keen to get off the planet, and didn't want to hang about. The details of the three ships were memorised and the consoles data-banks cleared. She accessed the stations sensors and created a fake reading in the orbital debris monitoring database.

She retrieved a small disk from her bag and threw it at the viewport. It stuck in the centre of the giant window overlooking the planet. She opened a maintenance hatch and entered the crawl-way before securing the hatch. Ten seconds later the small compact charge detonated cracking the massive reinforced window. A few seconds later the differential pressure caused the window to shatter blowing the bodies into space where their momentum would carry them into the atmosphere within the hour.

The stations log recorded the tragic loss of the 12 command crew plus one guest who died when the command centre's main viewport failed. The report recommended that large-scale monitors should be used in future as opposed to clear external viewports and that command centres should be given greater protection from rogue micro-asteroids. Just like the one that they suspect struck the window.


"Is that rock outside?" Kara asked. She had tried to clean some of the dirt off one of the viewports in the cargo bay. She'd managed to get a murky view of outside the ship from rubbing the grime off the small viewport.

"Yeah. We're inside an asteroid."


"Its a tiny outpost. Nothing much more than a cave blown out of the side of a big roid with a small workshop and landing pad. The Serpentis have these all over the place."

Kara's face went white. The notorious pirate faction were not as terrifying as Sansha's Nation or the Blood Angels, who bled their victims to death. But the Serpentis were not to be taken lightly. A notorious cartel that controlled the majority of New Eden's drug trade. Kara could only imagine when they would do to trespassers using their facilities. Captain Dorn saw her expression.

"Don't worry. This one has been all but destroyed. Everythings down and nobody has been here in years." he said.

"How do you know? What if they come back? What if they find us......"

"Look lady. I've been using this place for a long time. The blast marks on the roid and on the other structures in the area shows some cruise missile weilding pod jockey was sent here to remove them from this system, and like all capsuleers, made a fracking mess and used far too much ordinence. Now trust me, we're safe here until I work out where we can go."

"Well surely you are going to take me back to Vaankalen, aren't you?" Kara sounded worried.

"Vaankalen? I'm never going near that planet again. You can if you want, but given they vaporised your city to keep their little experiment a secret I can pretty much assure you that they'll do the same to you. Obviously after torturing you to find out who you told about their little project."

Kara went white.

"No. It can't be!"

Captain Dorn casualy tossed his datapad at her. She caught it and started reading. The news was all about the destruction of her home city after a freak plasma storm caused the reactors in the cities main power plant to go critical. She felt numb as she saw the pictures.

"They did it in a rush. If you look closely you'll see by the way the buildings have fallen, the blast came from the centre of the city. The power generation plant was on the outskirts. I'm sure someone will spot their mistake it and hack the photos. But for now anyone with bomb-damage assessment experience can see that was a bomb blast."

Kara placed the datapad down and started to cry.

"What are we going to do?" she sobbed.

"We need to disappear. Even though we don't know the details of that bio-weapon that your friendly doctor friend was working on, we saw the results. We know vaguely what was going on. They killed a few million people simply to keep that story quiet. You think they are going to let us go on roaming the stars? You, me and this ship are marked. We need to ditch the ship, get new ID's and get to Gallente space as soon as possible."

"Gallente space?" Kara was shocked. She'd never been out of Caldari space and had been told by the media for years that the Gallente were the cause of all problems in the Caldari State.

"Yeah, frog space. First off don't believe all that crap you get fed from the networks. The State could learn a hell of a lot from the Federation. Secondly the State's grasp is weakest in Federation, more chance of hiding there and not being found. Look love, its up to you. Tomorrow things should have calmed down enough to leave this hidey-hole and get to a station I know about, off-grid. Then I'll be ditching this vessel and getting some new ID papers. After that its a careful journey to the border zone before trying to make it across the war-zone that is low-security space before reaching the Federation proper and trying not to get arrested for being a spy. You are welcome to join me, or we can part ways on the station tomorrow. Just remember, your employers killed millions to keep the secret. I'm sure they are desperate to see you again!".

Kara stayed silent. She thought back to Doctor Branham, the infected in the facilities underground levels and what Captain Jorn had just said. The pictures of her home city flattened repeated in her mind. The captain was right. The corporation couldn't risk letting her live. She'd not last the day on her own. She'd be captured, interrogated and then vanished.

"I'm with you." she whispered in a defeated tone.


The rusting cargo hold was even smaller than that on the Blue Nova. It was a Matari built industrial ship and was in dire need of repair. The four crew members balanced on their tip-toes atop the small cargo crates. Their hands were bound behind their backs and they had cables around their necks which were tied to a walkway above. The blonde agent walked down the line smiling at each of them.

"So you really expect me to believe you haven't seen the two fugitives " she waved her datapad in the air. Kara's and Dorn's faces were displayed on the screen.

"No!" croaked the man at the top of the line. "We didn't take on any passengers!"

The agent walked to the other end of the line. She looked into the eyes of the man above her and placed a foot on the cargo crate that he was balancing on. She smiled at him.

"Do you agree with your captain? That you took nobody off that planet?"

The man shook his head emphatically  He tried to speak but the rope around his neck prevented him from saying anything more than a croak. The blonde cocked her head to one side, smiled again and pushed her foot forward. The small crate went skidding across the cargo bay and the crew member swung from the rope, his body shaking.

"One down, three to go." the agent said as she approached the next crew member. He was a burly Matari man who looked down at her with contempt.

"Well you don't appear afraid." she said. "I don't suppose you'd tell me even through the threat of death."

The Matari crew member spat at her. She kicked the crate from under his feet. The snap of his neck resonated through the cargo bay.

"No. Please no!" The captain was pleading as the agent approached the woman balancing on the crate next to him, wiping the spit from her cheek.

"Oh this one is special is she?" the agent teased. "Sister? Wife? Girlfriend? Lover?"

The agent stroked the woman's leg as if she was trying to reassure her. The woman whimpered in fear at her touch.

"She looks young. May be even daughter?" the agent stood before the captain and looked up at him. "Time is almost out Captain. Either you tell me where you dropped off the two fugitives or she dies."

"Please. Don't kill her. We took nobody off that planet. In fact we shot over the heads of people who were trying to board the ship to escape. We left that planet with no-one on board but our normal crew." the captain gasped.

The agent went back to the woman and placed her foot on the crate and pushed a little. The woman danced to keep her footing and gasped as the rope pulled tight. The Captain was begging her to stop. She pushed a little further. Again the woman struggled to keep her footing. She was now balancing on the edge of the crate.

"I find it hard to believe you abandoned all those people on that planet. Have you no compassion captain?" the agent pushed the crate a little more.

"WE COULDN'T TAKE THEM BECAUSE OF THE BOOSTERS!" the Captain screamed. "We're carrying booster pills!"

The agent looked at him.

"Thats why we ran. We're smugglers. The crates are full of blue pills."

"OK I'll take a look"

The agent grabbed the crate at the woman's feet and pulled it free. The Captain screamed as the woman swung free. The agent unclipped the latches and opened the crate as the woman dangled behind, her desperate struggling getting less and less by the second.

Inside the crate there were hundreds of pills. They were indeed drug runners. That was the second possibility eliminated, the fugitives had to have been on the third ship. Without saying any more she left the cargo bay by the personnel door and walked along the docking arm into her own ship. The captains screams getting quieter as the distance increased. An officer was waiting for her by the airlock.

"Undock from that piece of junk and destroy it. I want an all-stations alert issuing for a cargo runner called the 'Blue Nova'. Find me that ship."

The captain on the cargo ship was struggling to free his hands as he heard the strategic cruiser undock from his vessel. The lifeless bodies of his lover and two loyal crew members swung lifelessly beside him. He'd almost got his hands free when the first salvo of Havoc heavy assault missiles struck the side of his ship. It knocked the captain from his crate. The snap of his neck was a blessing and saved him a more agonizing death from the vacuum of space as the second salvo of missiles breached the ship and depressurised the cargo bay. The third and final salvo hit the ships reactor, destroying the ship and any evidence of what had occurred there.


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