Friday, February 8, 2013

Into the Black - Part 5 - Old Friends

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Into the Black - Part 5 - Old Friends

Dorn and Kara stepped off the Merlin class frigate and joined the walkway with the throng of others. The large hanger was crowded with people arriving and departing the State Protectorate Logistics Support station. As soon as they had emerged from the frigates passenger ramp Kara could see the massive grey walls and angular construction used in the station.

"This is a Caldari station!" she whispered.

"Yes. Don't panic. The false ID's we have are good for now and we're right on the edge of hi-security space. Keep calm and follow me." Dorn whispered back.

After a few minutes the crowds thinned out and the pair reached a bank of lifts. They entered and Dorn hit a button.

"So what are we doing here?"

"This is the border, next jump is into low-sec. It's a warzone inhabited by capsuleers, pirates and any one else who wants to stay away from the law. We need to cross it but we're going to need help. That Merlin will be torn to pieces by the eggers before we get one jump out. I have an old... friend, here who might be able to help us."

The lift open up onto a quite promenade on a low deck of the station. Generally the higher up you were in society, the higher you lived and worked on the station. The lower decks were full of the poorer elements of society. The air filters were less effective and less maintained. The air had a distinct metallic taste to it. Cleaning was less regular and graffiti streaked many of the walls. Dorn led Kara to a nearby bar. The bar itself was, like the rest of the deck, far from high class with broken windows and mis-matched furniture. Dorn approached a Matari man at the bar. Kara glanced around nervously, it looked the sort of bar a fight could break out at any minute and where you could get anything you wanted if you had the money. Several patrons eyed them suspiciously from their stools. Captain Jorn approached a man sat at the bar drinking.

"Hi J."

The Matari man turned his head and looked at the captain. He didn't show any expression as if Dorn wasn't even there. He turned his head to the bar man and signaled him over.

"Yes sir?"

"What the hell have you put in this drink?" he said threateningly whilst jabbing his finger towards the glass in front of him.

"Sir?" The barman looked nervous.

"Well I've only had two of these and I just thought I saw Captain Dorn stood here on this very station. I told myself that is impossible! Captain Dorn is a smart guy. He's not dumb enough to come back here!"

"J, I need to see the boss."

The barman moved away realising the tension and the man called J turned around to face them. He spent a little too long looking Kara up and down.

"The boss? Why don't you just find the nearest airlock and flush yourself? Trust me, you'll save yourself an hour and achieve the same result in the end."

"I need.... to see..... the boss." Dorn repeated.

"Oh well. I suppose I got to see this." J stated and threw some credit chips down on the top of the bar and headed for the exit.


The small cargo bay appeared to have a half-built domed structure in the centre. A walkway to nowhere vanished inside the small structure that looked like it had been ripped from the side of a station. Several armed men milled around. The entire set up looked odd. It was if some part of a spaceship that had been removed out of the craft and just dumped in the centre of the cargo bay. Large cables and pipes snaked over the cargo bays floor and vanished inside or attached themselves to ports on the outside of the structure.

"What is this J?" Dorn asked.

"The boss' business quarters. She hates the dull Caldari quarters on this station so she had a Gallent stations captains quarters shipped here from the Federation."

They approached the walkway that sprung out into the centre of the cargo bay.

"She's expecting you." J said stopping at the end of the walkway.

"You not coming in?"

"No man. I don't want to get blood splatters on this threads." He grinned.

Kara looked nervously at Dorn who showed no emotion. He stepped up to the walkway and started down the path towards the structure. Kara was close behind him. They entered the quarters which looked a world away from the rest of the station. Gone were the dull blue-grey walls and sharp lines. Here were subtle greens and curving architecture. The walked to the middle of the room and turned to see a woman sat on the sofa. Kara guessed she was early 30's. She was clearly Gallente with a classic bone structure and jet black hair. She wore a long dress that was slit on one side up to the thigh. She had her legs crossed showing several inches of flesh above her expensive stocking tops. The deep cut of the dress revealed more cleavage than Kara would ever consider showing except at a club. With the shady talk and armed guards, Kara had expected to find an older man, a typical head of some kind of criminal organisation. She did not expect a beautiful and sensual woman who clearly used her body as others in her position may use threats or violence.

"Well, well, well. Captain Dorn. It has been a long time." she purred.

"3 years." he stated matter-of-factly.

"Yes, three years. I've missed you."

Kara just didn't know what to believe. This greeting was not what she was expecting after what the man referred to as 'J' had been saying in the bar.

"And who is that delightful creature with you?" the woman smiled at Kara.

"She's with me." Captian Dorn cut in before Kara could say anything.

"Was she the reason?"

"No. We've only just met."

"Ah. Well in that case I won't have her skinned alive."

Kara's blood ran cold. She didn't know what they were talking about but she assumed the captain had done something to hurt the woman seated in front of them and it sounded like it involved another woman. Suddenly the woman who initially did not appear to be a threat now appeared to be very dangerous.

"Look Lola. I had to get out of here. The net was closing in. If I'd stayed they'd have got me and then they'd have traced things back to you. By fleeing nobody suspected anything between you and me. They were watching me, monitoring my comms, I couldn't risk contacting you. You're still here and free. Which wouldn't be the case if I'd stayed."

The woman called Lola stretched back on the sofa spreading her arms out wide.

"I suppose so. It's just I'm still to find a man who can perform like you did for me."

"I'm sure you have more than a few capable smugglers on your books."

"I was talking about in bed!"

Kara glanced at the Captain who was still showing no emotion.

"Well I'm sorry. I left to keep you safe. Now I'm back and I need your help. I need to get to Villore and without the authorities knowing."

"Is that all? I assume that these authorities are the State and are actively looking for you? So you turn up out of the black and want me to smuggle you and this girl through the hi-sec border, across a warzone filled with fighting empyrean's and pirates and get you through the Gallenete border the other side?"

"That's about the size of it."

The woman looked at them both. A small smirk appearing on her face. If Kara had to guess this woman was bored running her small organised crime syndicate. Dorn had just presented her with a challenge which she appeared to like.

"OK. Return here at 1900 station time. I will have what you need and we can then discuss payment for services rendered."

Dorn nodded and led Kara out of the quarters.

"Payment? How the hell are we going to pay her? We've got no cash to pay off a crime syndicate!" Kara whispered as they headed out of the cargo bay.

"Oh she won't want cash. It's a station legend, so make of it what you will, I believe it. Apparently she had a number of implants installed in her head. Similar to the ones the capsuleers use. Boosts to willpower and charisma, that sort of thing. During one of the procedures the doctor who was operating on her made a mistake. After she woke up she found the charisma implant was working fine but she had a problem, shall we say diplomatically that her libido was through the roof."

Kara looked at him as if he was joking.

"Oh I'm serious and I believe it. The doctor suffered a slow and painful death for his mistake. When she chooses you, you don't say no."

Kara laughed. "From the earlier conversation I assume she chose you often. Sounds like you were onto a good thing here!"

For once Kara noticed the Captain blush.

"Its no joke I can assure you. Same with any payment to a crime-boss. If the goods don't measure up, you're in deep, deep trouble. Anyway I'd stop this line of conversation if I was you." he replied "Because you can probably now guess what payment she'll expect tonight, and as she's really mad at me, and also as she goes 'both ways', well, you can guess what I'm getting at."

That indeed did shut Kara up.


A few hours later Lola returned to her quarters. She was smiling to herself. She'd managed to get everything in place. What sounded like an impossible task had taken her only two hours. A bribe to the stations docking manager, a captain and ship with fake transponder and flight plan, another bribe for stargate control and then two favours called in at low-sec stations. The only thing left was to choose her prize. A night with Captain Dorn would be pleasurable, she knew from past experience. But after he abandoned her like that? No, she needed him to suffer tonight not to spend it in pleasure. That gorgeous brunette he was with, she might be the better choice. Have him sweat the night through imagining what they were doing together. May be even insist he stay in the next room, alone. Leave a vent open and let him hear what he was missing. She could be very vocal, let him listen and suffer. She smiled to herself again at that thought.

As she was making plans for that night she suddenly became aware she was not alone. She looked into a mirror slowly to find a small, petite blonde sat on her sofa relaxing. Lola immediately realised the danger. If this individual was able to penetrate her security, she was a major threat. Without turning to face her she walked over to the bar and pulled out two glasses and a bottle.

"What can I get you?" she asked without turning as if it was an old friend behind her.

"Vodka. Gallente if you have it."

Lola nodded and retrieved the bottle from the rack. Everything she did was slow and obvious so not to spook her "guest". She poured two drinks and turned around. She then got a good look at the intruder. She was, as her reflection showed, a very attractive petite blond. She looked Caldari but didn't appear to have the appearance of one of the three main bloodlines. She wore a black one piece suit. Lola knew her fashion and this did not appear to be made of any material she could easily place. She guessed whilst it looked like a fashionable catsuit as worn by many fashion conscious ladies, it more than likely had hidden properties. She was now glad she hadn't gone for the scrambler pistol in the bar.

Lola approached and sat down next to the intruder on the sofa.

"So, how can I help you..... Miss......?"

"We don't really need names do we?"

"I suppose not. So, what do you want?"

"We've been tracking an old friend of yours, Captain Dorn, to this system. My intel shows that you two were very good friends." the blond reached out and put her hand on Lola's knee in an overly friendly gesture. "Very, very good friends."

"Yes, but 'were' is the operative word there. I've not seen that asshole in three years. He ran off, abandoned me and was never heard from again. He may have been a decent lover, but if he ever shows up here again he'll find that these days I'm more interested in seeing his whole body stiff rather than just one particular part!"

The blond was slowly stroking Lola's stocking clad leg and smiling. Lola knew she was not what she appeared.

"Well, he is in this system and he has a new woman in his life. I'm willing to pay.... handsomely for any information."

"Captain Dorn's love life is no concern of mine anymore. And as for payment, does it look like I'm poor and need...."

Lola's voice trailed off as the blonds hand slip up high and vanished up the slit in her skirt. She let out a small gasp. The blond smiled seductively.

"I know everything about you. I know the payment you usually require." Lola's breathing became shallow and rapid as the blond stared into her eyes, working her. "And you should know that I am the best you could ever have." Lola was on the edge of loosing control, the blonds face was inches away from her as the sensations started to build inside her. "I can please you in ways you'd never imagine and take you to heights you've only dreamed of." Lola was quietly moaning now and rocking slowly back and forth. The agents face was now almost touching Lola's. Lola opened her lips slightly hoping she would move in. "Just tell me where they are and you'll receive payment like you've never experienced" Lola had her eyes closed and her visage was one at the height of extreme pleasure, she licked her lips and arched her head back as she gasped.

Suddenly the petite blond stopped and moved her hand away. Lola came down like a lead weight. Her eyes sprung open, her face was one of anger and disappointment.

"No advanced payment I'm afraid" the blond smirked as she drew back on the sofa placing a finger in her mouth. Lola's face had changed and now was one of outrage.

"You'll get nothing from me bitch!" Lola spat losing control of her temper. "If Captain Dorn is stupid enough to make contact with me he's a dead man anyway."

"A dead man? Sorry but I need him alive." said the blond as she slipped her finger from her mouth and reached into her bag. Lola froze expecting a gun or a knife. What the blond actually produced was a something shaped like a pen. She pressed a button on the side a a jet of blue flame roared out the end. Lola backed off slightly.

"I have this for burning through thin metal like access panels and the like. I really wish we could have done this the pleasurable way, I've very good you know. Now unless you give up Captain Dorn, I'm going to be forced to, shall we say, desensitise you. Just one small burn and that'll be it. With your medical condition, how long do you think you can keep your sanity? So which is it going to be? The easy way? Or the hardest way you can ever imagine?"

Lola looked terrified thinking of the consequences as the agent slowly waved the blue flame back and forth.


"Are you ready for this?" the Captain asked?

"There is no other way?"

"We'd not get past the Tama stargate without her help. We cannot be far in front of your ex-employers. So the choices are getting Lola to help us, being exploded in space by eggers or captured by the State which will lead to a rather nasty interrogation about what we've been up to the last few days before facing a firing squad."

Kara knew he was right but the price was high.

"Well I'd hate to mess up my hair in an explosive decompression and I'm not sure this dress will looked right when I'm strapped to a metal table in a State interrogation room, so I agree Lola's help appears the best option. When will we leave?" Kara tried to make light of the situation.

"I'd like to leave now but Lola will want her payment from one of us. We'll leave first thing in the morning."

Kara looked highly uneasy as they approached the cargo bay.

"Can you do this? Have you, ever, you know." The Captain asked.

This time it was Kara's turn to look embarrassed.

"One time, at college. Don't worry. If she choose me, I'll make the payment."

They reached the cargo bay door and immediately Dorn knew there was something wrong. He stopped suddenly and held his arm out to stop Kara.


"No guards. This isn't right. Stay behind me."

They entered the cargo bay slowly, keeping to the edges that were cast shadow. The guards were all down and had been dragged into cover behind crates and boxes. Pools of blood surrounding their lifeless bodies.

"Stay here."

Captain Dorn moved over to one of the bodies. He saw the man had had his throat slit. He picked up the rifle next to the body and checked it. It was a 'Killswitch' GEK-38 Assault Rifle with a 60 round clip. It had not been fired. The guard had been obviously been taken by surprise. Dorn took the rifle and Kara watched from the shadows carefully enter the captains quarters in the centre of the bay.

He found Lola on the sofa and nearly retched at the sight. Blood had pooled on the sofa from her wrists which each had a deep cut. A bloodied knife was laying next to her left hand. He rushed over and cradled her head. A slight moan escaped her lips shocking him. She was still alive.

"Stay with me Lola. I'll get help."

"No. Don't." her voice was a feint whisper. "I'm ending it here. There is a woman. She is after you. Beautiful, deadly. She killed all the guards single-handedly. When I wouldn't turn you in she threatened me. When I still refused..... she...... she...... burnt me. She knew my condition Dorn, and she burnt me knowing what it would do to me. Let me go. I wouldn't be able to live like this. I'd go crazy within the week. I gave her a false time and location. She's waiting for you in the wrong place. You haven't got long before she realises. Go. Go to Hanger 434. Your ride is waiting." Lola smiled at Dorn before her eyelid's flickered and she stopped moving. A single tear ran down Dorn's cheek. He ran his palm over her face to close her eyes and gently settled her lifeless body back onto the sofa.

Kara came out of the shadows as Dorn walked over.

"So, who does she want? Is it you...... or me?" Kara asked nervously.

"No payment needed." Dorn said solemnly. "But we have to go. Now."

The assualt rifle clattered as Dorn tossed it to the ground and guided Kara to the exit.


One hour later they arrived at a small private docking berth. The captain was in the office.

"Lola sent us." Dorn announced.

"Wasn't expecting you until the morning."

"Change of plan. We need to leave now."

"As you wish."

The three exited the office through a back door that accessed the ship hanger. Captain Dorn blew a low whistle through his teeth.

"A Manticore!"

"Yeah." replied the captain. "If you are going through the Nourv/Tama stargate, you need a cloak otherwise you've got a 50/50 change of dying in a fire to an egger gate camp. Be aware, I'm simply here to get you into low-sec and two jumps out. Tama is not safe to dock there with all the eggers hanging around the undock. So you have a choice. Sujerento or Nisuwa."

"Nisuwa." Captain Dorn replied without hesitation.

"You sure? I'd recommend the Fliet pipe. A lot less traffic along there."

"I'm sure. We're taking the Oinasiken pipe."

"Your the boss! In that case you want this." The captain handed Dorn an envelope. He glanced in it and smiled before nodding to the captian.

The captain showed them to their quarters and left to get the ship underway.

"If I remember my college astro-geography lessons, the Fliet area is Gallente controlled but the Oinasiken area is Caldari controlled. Aren't we going the more dangerous way?" Kara asked when they were alone.

"You DID learn a lot in college didn't you!" he smirked referring to their earlier conversation. Kara threw a cushion at him smiling.

"A lot has changed since you went to college. Black Rise and the surrounding areas aren't what they used to be. The Caldari have a strong presence and control Fliet and the surrounding systems, whilst the Gallente hold pretty much everything from Kedama down to Old Man Star. Also we need to consider the Eggers."

"The Capsuleers?"

"Yes. We're going to need one to cross the war zone. Nisuwa is the basing station to a host of Gallente militia corporations. Things have changed drastically in the last few years. Used to be the Gallente Militia upheld the law, even in low-sec. Now many of them are nothing more than pirates with a cause. This ship will get us to them."

"So what was in the envelope?" Kara asked.

"ID's appropriate for the Oin pipe. And an invite card to a bar."

Kara groaned.

"I hope this bar is better than the last one!"

Their conversation was broken by the sound of the intercom.

"All hands prepare for departure. Undocking in T minus 1 and a half. Next stop, low security space! Buckle up and hope we don't bump into any Legion strategic cruisers!"

"Legions?" Kara asked the Captain.

"One of the few capsuleer ships that can be fit to insta-lock and catch and kill a stealth bomber on a stargate."

Kara swallowed hard as the ship jolted as the docking clamps released and the ship exited the docking bay.



  1. You may be the enemy, but I do enjoy your blog and this fiction. Keep up the good work and I'll see you on the battlefield.

    Shahai Shintaro

  2. Very good read, as usual, but I have to say: I absolutely HATE the Gek-38 AR. It feels like one of the most commonly used rifles and I always get killed by one :(