Friday, February 15, 2013

Into the Black - Part 6 - Out of The Frying Pan

Fan fiction Friday. Escape here if this is not your thing!

Into the Black - Part 6 - Out of The Frying Pan

The two men lay flat on the cramped catwalk high above the hanger floor. A huge Badger class industrial was docked below them with its cargo bay doors closed. One of the men held a viewscanner to his eyes looking down into the gloom. The scanner amplified the available light and fed back scan results of anything in its field of vision. All he could see currently was the cargo ship and and the open entrance door to the outer corridor. The other man was aiming down the sights of a Ishukone issue sniper-rifle. He was focused on the door ready to put a bullet into the brain of the target.

"Is it time?"

"5 minutes."

The two men continued to watch in silence. After a few minutes they saw a shadow appear at the hanger door.

"That her?" the sniper asked.

"Damn, its gone. Whoever it was, they only looked in for a second. I wasn't looking that way I was checking the perimeter."

"Well watch the damn door asshat!"

The two men were from a separate criminal organisation to the one Captain Dorn had visited earlier in the day. The station was big enough for the two organisations to operate freely and over the years each organisation had split the various criminal activities between themselves. One took the protection racket  one took the cat houses, one took the arms sales, the other took control of the narcotics trade. They even worked together on some occasion especially when a third organisation tried to move in on their territory.

The two men were positioned to take out someone who appeared to be trying to gain information on their latest gun running scheme. The cargo ship contained a small arsenal of illegal plasma weapons which had not been off-loaded yet. A tip from the other organisation had alerted them to the fact an agent of the security services was trying to get evidence on their smuggling operation  Therefore they had delayed unloading the goods and were laying in wait. The tip said the agent would come snooping at around 21:00 station time hoping to catch them in the act of unloading. Little did they know that Lola had in fact told the Caldari assassin that the fugitives that she was hunting where going to be hidden on that very cargo ship which was ready to leave at that time.

"No sign. Must have been someone else. I hope the bitch turns up soon, there is a Mind-Clash game on tonight I gotta to see. I got 200 credits riding on it."

The two men concentrated on the view of the door. There was hardly a sound as the agent dropped down from a ventilation duct directly above them. She landed with a knee on each man, concurrently driving a knife into the back of their necks. The only sound was the muffled thud as she landed on top of them followed by the slow, rhythmic dripping of their blood onto the cargo bay floor below.


The massive stargate loomed in front of the small frigate sized ship.

The computer's voice flooded through the small bridge. "Warning! You are approaching a stargate that leads to low-security space. CONCORD, the security services and the police have no presence in these areas. Space beyond this gate should be considered extremely dangerous and unsafe. You are recommended not to continue. Pirate capsuleer gate camps are regularly reported in this area."

The captain at the controls sighed.

"I wish I was an egger. Apparently they get a simpler message when they jump into low-sec."

The Captain appeared to be looking out of the viewports, craning his neck from side to side taking in all the space around the ship.

"Ah! Perfect! Wait for it, wait for it..... and here goes everything...."

There was a brilliant flash of light and the Manticore vanished into an artificial wormhole. Gate travel was particularly stressful to the human bodies systems. Therefore most ships had an alarm to allow crew and passengers to brace before a jump. However, for some reason the alarm system had been deactivated on this ship. For Captain Dorn it was nothing, a seasoned veteran of gate travel, his body had become accustom to the unpleasant effects of travelling through an artificial wormhole. Kara almost threw up at the unexpected jump. There was only darkness in the ship with the feint twinkle of the stars out of the viewports. Stargate jumps disabled all the ships systems which was why the stargates provided a short duration cloaking field. As soon as the systems came back on the captain swore.

"Damn pirates are camping the gate out there. We've got a lovely selection of strategic cruisers waiting to catch us when the jump-cloak fails in 25 seconds. Oh and look, they've got some heavy assault cruisers to back them up."

"Is that it?" Kara asked with fear in her voice "Nothing we can do?"

The captain smiled.

"Why do you think I waited a few seconds the other side and why do you think there is no jump alarm on this ship."

Suddenly a massive battleship decloaked 15km from them. The hulking Raven started aligning to try and get away from the pirates. The captain of the Manticore waited a few more seconds before he started aligning his own ship and activated the covert-ops cloaking device. As the small frigate moved, the cloak provided by the stargate dropped and they appeared to everyone in the area. They could see the six hi-tech cruisers already engaging the battleship. The Manticore was visible for a fraction of a second before its own covert-ops cloaking device engaged. The captain turned and smiled.

"First rule of Tama. Always jump in 5 seconds after something the pirates would consider a juicy target. If they are there, they'll be too busy attacking the other ship to be interested in you!" the captain said with a grin. "A quick align and activate the cloak and they are too busy ganking some poor SOB to even notice you. That's why the jump alarm is turned off, I have to time it exactly right. No waiting for stupid safety systems. OK lets go. Next stop Kedama!"

Kara had her face pressed against the viewport. Whilst it was far in the distance, she could see the Raven battleship under attack. Lasers and missile's lit up the space around the stargate.

The Manticore slipped into warp leaving behind the now helpless Raven alone with the pirates.


The agent left the ship and paused. There was no sign the ship was leaving any time soon and the holds were full of what appeared to be illegal arms. This didn't look like a ship that the two fugitives would be leaving in within the next hour. She considered the fact that Lola may have lied to her. A steep price to pay for a person she claimed to want dead anyway.

She pulled out a datapad and checked the stations security network. She needed to see if any of her previous encounters had been reported. It was then she saw the report that Lola had been found dead. The initial report stated suicide but the agent knew the autopsy would reveal the damage she'd inflicted on the crime-boss. The security forces on the station would know the rumours about Lola, realise that she'd been attacked and the suicide will be investigated as a murder. She now had two dead-ends and a security force that would soon be asking questions. She checked the stations database and pulled up the cargo ships ownership records. The ship was registered to someone who lived on the station. The trail was suddenly getting cool and she needed a new lead.

It was only a 10 minute walk to the mans quarters. The listing on the database showed he shared it with his wife. That was both good and bad news. Bad news in that there were two targets and that meant there was always the chance one could hit a panic button or make a lucky escape. The good news was that she found even the most hardened criminals that could withstand her encouragements to talk, soon folded when she started on their partner.

A short bald man answered the door. He gave the agent a approving look and a wide smile.

"Well hello. And what can I do for the most beautiful woman on this dump of a station?"

"Lola sent me, I have a proposition for you. Can we speak inside? Is your wife here?"

"No" he smiled "She's out and I'm allllllll alone."

The man moved out of the way and the agent entered his quarters. As he closed the door she span round and grabbed him by his throat lifting him several inches off the floor and slammed him into the closed door. He grabbed her wrist trying to free himself. He couldn't move her slender wrist from around his throat which made no sense  the woman in front of him looked small and weak. How was she able to lift him like this with no effort? His eyes widened in terror as with her other hand she produced a wicked combat knife which she waved slowly in front of his face. She said nothing as she lowered the knife out of his field of vision. He made a whimpering sound as she pressed the flat of the blade against his crotch.

"I need to know EVERYTHING you know about two fugitives that are trying to get off this station. You can tell me now and still be able to father children in the future. Otherwise you can play dumb and I can start cutting now. So are you going to help the State track down these two wanted traitors or are we going to do this the messy way and reduce the State's birth-rate?"

The man nodded his head vigorously.


The stealth-bomber dropped out of warp 300km from the station. The captain zoomed the camera in on the station undock.

"How's it looking?" asked Dorn.

"Not bad currently, it appears fairly quiet. This is a very dangerous station to approach. You have a real concentration of pod jockeys in there and the vast majority see neutrals as possible Caldari militia spies. Unless you are in the Gallente Militia or an affiliated corporation, you could well be attacked by these guys. And they don't take prisoners. That's why IO have this pounce spot. Can see if the coast is clear but still far enough away to engage the warp drive."

"And these are the guys we're going to ask for help?" Kara asked worriedly.

"We're Caldari defectors being pursued by agents of the State. We'll find help here" Dorn replied "Can you get us in then Captain?"

"Just wait for that Cynabal to finish undocking and leave. Frack look at that guys egger record. Loren Gallen, member of Shadows of the Federation! If he wasn't a capsuleer he'd be the clusters biggest mass-murderer! But given him a spaceship and he's a hero of the Federation! Figure that out hur! Once he's clear and has warped off I'll warp us to zero and hope docking control pull us in before anymore undock."


The faces on the 10 viewscreens were obscured, their voices distorted.

"We are concerned Admiral. The Gallente continue to reclaim the areas of low-sec and the weapon we hoped would turn the war around is now destroyed?" said one of the faces.

"Never mind that." said another "What of the two that saw the weapon and escaped? The Empires only have ever joined forces once before and that was to try and rid the universe of this technology. If they find out we've been weaponising it...."

"Please sirs. All is in hand. Whilst the primary site has been destroyed we still have the secondary site. The two loose ends you refered to will be eliminated shortly. This is not a time to panic. This is a time to be strong and trust in our people." the Admiral said strongly.

"Well said Admiral. But please note that if you fail, the second this story hits the news networks we'll be gone. Can you vanish as well as the rest of us?"

The Admiral just sat knowing he couldn't.


Back in their ship quarters Dorn opened a cupboard and pulled two cases out. He handed one to Kara before opening the other one. He pulled out a smart suit that appeared to be Gallente.

"What's this?" Kara asked lifting the case.

"Your new outfit. Hurry up and change!"

Kara opened the case as Dorn started to strip. Inside the case was a smart ladies business suit. She looked through the case and found shoes, makeup and jewelery. She glanced over at the semi naked Dorn and quickly looked away. The clothing looked expensive but closer inspection of the jewellery showed it was not real. The clothing too was probably fake. She had heard of the label and knew it would be worth her annual salary five times over if it was genuine.

"What is this for?"

Dorn sighed. "I'm taking you on a hot date." he said sarcastically "Hoping to get you drunk and end up in a three-way with you and this lady assassin that is chasing us!"

Kara through a shoe at him. Dorn had told her about what Lola had said, an agent of the State, beautiful but deadly, was stalking them. Whilst Dorn had left out what she'd actually inflicted on Lola, he'd made it clear that this agent would stop at nothing to catch them.

"Look, we've got to meet someone and where we're going, a smuggler and a secretary are going to stand-out like sore thumbs. We need to look like mega-corp executives. So suit up and meet me at the airlock in five."

Dorn was now dressed in a smart suit and looked a completely different man. He left the room to allow Kara to change.

She nervously stripped wondering where they were going and what danger they would face next.

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