Friday, August 23, 2013

Last Night of Freedom

Fiction Friday. If you are not into Eve Online fiction I have your escape pod right here if you are a blogger and you would like/need a PLEX (work involved, its not free you know!)

Just a note on this piece. A 'stag party' is the British name for a Bachelor Party. I couldn't decide which to use. I wonder what they'll be called 20,000 years from now?

Last Night of Freedom

Jean-Luc rubbed his hands together. This could be his big break, an order of this magnitude could set him up for years. His wood-effect compact holoprojector business was hardly thriving. There was just too much competition in the market. The Empyrean War wasn't helping either. The Caldari certainly wouldn't trade with his Gallente business and, up to now, the Amarrians were hesitant. However all that had changed in the last few days when an Amarrian shipping company approach him wanting details of how a supply-chain could be set up. Two days later he received a communication that a small delegation was arriving to discuss terms for the supply of 500 custom preloaded holoprojector units. An order of that size was almost certainly a major hotel, probably with in Throne-worlds or a major trade hub. Moreover it would save his ailing business.

Most of the delegation arrived the previous night. He'd blown a substantial of his companies dwindling cash reserves in employing a professional hospitality company to meet them and welcome them to the station. Whilst Amarrian visitors were not massively common, the Gallente hospitality companies never missed a trick. They had a "Spiritual Package" to cater for Amarrians, he had read on their info-net site. He had called immediately and booked them on it. He also made a note of the "Matari Marauder Package". An evening of war games with simulated combat followed by a traditional Minmatar feast. With a sale of 500 units he'd treat his staff to some VR gaming and a drunken feast. They'd need some R&R not to mention buttering up after such a massive order.

He looked out of his office window at the small factory floor. It was fairly busy and he was pleased to see that all the 'girly' posters and calendars had been removed and replaced by pictures of scenery. The men had moaned when he asked for it to be done but soon complied when he said a 500 unit order that would keep them in business may rely on those pictures being removed for a couple of days.

A few minutes later there was a knock on the door and his secretary opened the door. Behind her was a tall man stood in robes. Jean-Luc jumped up to meet the Amarrian and showed him to his desk and offered him some Amarrian tea which he had got in specially.

"So, am I right in assuming the order is for a new hotel?" he asked after the Amarrian nodded and smiled, signaling his approval over the tea.

"Actually no. I am head of a new monastery that is nearing completion. When it is built it will be the largest monastery in the Throne Worlds constellation. We will have nearly 500 brothers. The projectors are for our cells and are to be loaded with religious teachings and music. I have brought the recordings to be loaded with me just in case my fellow brothers and I are able to agree terms with you. We are looking for holoprojectors that can be made to look like they belong in a monks cell. Unfortunately the Caldari and Amarrian producers make ones that are to..... fancy. We saw some of the ones you have made with a wood finish, very unique. Hence the long trip for me and my brothers."

Jean-Luc smiled. He was sure after the special Amarrian package he put them on that they'd be in a giving mood today. The company-saving sale was all but a certainty.

"My new brothers who arrived here last night, where are they?"

Jean-Luc tried to maintain his smile although his stomach dropped.

"Were they not at the hotel this morning? We booked you all in together on the same floor."

"No. I went to their rooms but there was no answer. I had assumed they'd started early and had come here to inspect the facilities. I have to say I am a little worried."

Jean-Luc saw his company-saving order slipping away. If something bad had befallen the other brothers he would get the blame.

"I am sure they are fine. You said 'new' brothers? Have they not been with your order long?" he asked trying to deflect away from the question where they were.

"They haven't even visited the planet with the monastery yet. They are short term residents. Many of the more powerful families in the empire like to see their sons attend a monastery for a few years after graduating university. Many of these men will go on to be leaders and holders of the next generation and their time served in the monastery is thought to make them better men."

Jean-Luc now was very worried. These weren't just young monks, they belonged to powerful families. He held up a finger to the monk to indicate one minute as he picked up his communicator.


"10 nine-course banqueting covers that we're not going to get paid for! We're 450 credits down on that package sale now!" the big Gallente fumed. "The booking was for 50 people. Why did you book 60 at the restaurant?"

The skinny blond Gallente girl behind the reception desk just looked up and blew a bubble with her gum that popped noisily.

"Well I wrote 50 down when I took the order from the customer. I guess it looked a bit like a 60 when I'd wrote it. Between taking the package order and booking the restaurant a few days later I got a bit mixed up."

The man grabbed his hair and made a frustrated grunt. This was the 3rd time this month this useless girl had made a mistake that had cost his company, and therefore him, money.

"Can you give me one good reason why I shouldn't fire you right now for this third costly mistake in a month?" he had his palms on the front of her desk now and was leaning over.

The girl smiled, knelt on her office chair, leaning over the desk to look at the monitor. Her skirt road-up revealing the tops of her stockings.

She looked at the monitor for a few seconds and then turned her head over her shoulder and looked back at him lustfully.

"Well I could give you one. And I'm not talking about a reason." she purred.

The boss shook his head slowly. He knew he was defeated. He wasn't going to sack her and they both knew it. Over the past few months they'd been at it like rampant Furriers. She'd instigated it after the first cock-up cost him 1000 credits. Now, every time she made a bad mistake she'd jump his bones. And every time he'd willingly accept. After 30 years of stale marriage, an open-minded nubile nymphomaniac secretary half his age was hard to resist. Yes she cost the company a lot of money, yes she was only doing him to keep her job, but what he got in return made it hard for him to do anything against her.

She had just started to unbutton her shirt when the communicator sounded. The boss grabbed it and answered in the company name, scared his useless secretary may mess up another potential order.

"Oh yes sir, who are you this morning? Our guide said they had a great time....... No he didn't escort them back to their hotel, they wanted to stay longer at the final venue..... Sorry sir but we cannot force guests to leave public venues and apparently they were having a very good time....... a religious site? Well no sir, why do you think we're take them there?................... The Spiritual Package?.................. No sir, you booked the 'Special' Package................ Well sir, one might say it is the polar opposite of the Spiritual Package!........... Amarrian MONKS? No sir, you must not book monks on.... oh.... One moment sir! Please hold!"

The boss look down in absolute horror at the girl who has looking up at him with a questioning look on her face. He put his hand over the communicator mouthpiece.

"What have you done?" he whispered in horror.


"There appears to be a small mix up with the tour company I asked to look after your brothers. Don't worry, we'll soon have them here." Jean-Luc said trying to sound jolly and upbeat.

He quickly logged onto his datapad and ensured that the screen was not visible to the monk sat opposite. He got the hospitality's site up and went to the packages section. In the list of the hospitality company's range of pre-arranged packages, there, one place above 'The Spiritual Package', was 'The Special Package'. He chose the latter and felt his heart sink as the page loaded.

Last night of freedom?
Is your best mate hanging up his nuts and getting married?
Well as the Best Man it is your duty to give him the night of his life!

He looked up at the monk and smiled trying to hide the horror on his face.

Nobody does a last night of freedom like the Gallente.
We'll start with some real 'man food' and some of the strongest ales all served by the hottest women in the cluster.
We'll tour the best bars and clubs in the notorious party district of the station.
We'll finish at a special venue where all the group's fantasies will come true.
None of you will EVER forget this night!

Jean-Luc knew all was lost. Those idiots had taken the monks on a 'stag do' package! The cheesy hold music from the hospitality company still played in his ear.

"It would appear that your brothers were having a good time on the Spiritual Package I had booked for them. They will be late back as they missed the last shuttle. Perhaps I could leave you in the hands of my floor manager who will give you a tour of the facilities and I'll go and make sure they get here safely."

The monk smiled and nodded as Jean-Luc remained still on hold with the hospitality company.


"We're closed!" the vastly overweight man sweeping the floor bellowed.

Jean-Luc walked over and flashed a 20 credit note in front of him.

"I just want some information."

The man snatch the money and continued sweeping.

"What do you want to know?" he asked grumpily.

"I was told you had a party of four monks in here last night?"

"Yeah. Animals! Look at this place!"

For the first time since entering the eatery the hospitality company had directed him to, Jean-Luc looked around. It was a mess. It looked like there had been a wild party in here.

"What in Divinity's Edge happened here?"

"Your damn monks are what happened here. I assume they were in fancy dress for a stag party. Only stag parties behave like that. We brought them their meals and beer and after about two pints they suddenly got all rowdy."

Jean-Luc thought that Amarrian monks did not drink, it wouldn't take much to get them drunk.

"Anyways, a couple of the regulars didn't like them hogging the waitresses and the other girls..."

'Hogging the girls? The Monks?' Jean-Luc thought in surprise.

" a fight nearly breaks out. Lot of pushing and shoving before I get in the middle and have to throw those guys dressed as monks out."

"Any idea where they went?" Jean-Luc asked.

The man just stood there in deep thought. A bit of over-the-top acting was going on as if he was really struggling to think. Jean-Luc took the hint and produced another 20.

"Sinners Row I heard the Gallente guy who was leading them say."

Jean-Luc left with a groan.


Sinners Row was the local name for a promenade on the 35th floor of the station. It was also known locally as Drunk Alley or Clap Street. It was wall-to-wall drinking and entertainment establishments, of every conceivable type. Nobody did sex, drugs and rock and roll like the Gallente. The lift door opened and Jean-Luc stepped out. The promenade was long and filled with neon signs advertising everything from drinks to girls to chemical enhancements. He walked down the wide street not really knowing what he was looking for. Suddenly something caught his eye, a screen in a window was displaying images from a previous night. He wandered over and stared. Clearly some massive parties had been going on in this bar as he watched the images of young people partying hard flick by one by one. It was obviously an advertisement trying to entice passers by into the bar. Suddenly the picture that caught his eye originally cycled around. A man dressed as a monk wearing the same robes as the head of the order who was back at his factory. Although unlike the head monk, this monk had a bright blue glowing drink in one hand, and the derrière of a scantily clad Gallente woman in the other. The next was just as bad. Another of the order with drinks in both hands roaring at the camera open mouthed like a drunk zero-G football jock at a frat party. The next four pictures were all variations on the same theme, the monks, partying hard with booze and girls.

He went inside. Although most establishments on Sinners Row were open 24 hours this was mid-morning and the place was quiet..... and wrecked. Damaged furniture lay all over. There was a crunch of broken glass as he walked over to the bar were the lone barman was apparently asleep with his head on the bar. Jean-Luc cleared his throat. The man moaned and sat up, blinking his bleary eyes.

"What can I get you dude?" he asked strangely chirpy for a man who had been unconscious 10 seconds earlier.

"Information." Jean-Luc replied as he slid over a twenty. "You had four monks in here last night. What happened to them?"

The barman smiled and laughed.

"Dude! They were no monks, they were party animals! They were buying drinks and synth-boosters for everyone, especially the girls. It was wild man."

Jean-Luc groaned. Boosters as well? He was deep in shit and sinking deeper every minute.

"Any idea where they went?"

"Well I think two are in the clink. A fight broke out when some Matari guy caught one of them with his tongue down his girlfriends throat. Security came and carted them off to the drunk tank when fists started to fly. The other two left with their guide. Said they'd continue up the street."

Girls. Arrests. Could this get any worse Jean-Luc wondered?

He thanked the man and left. He retrieved his communicator and called the Hospitality Company. He spoke to the manager and told him bluntly to get down to the Sinners Row security office, get the two monks bailed from the cells and get them back to the hotel otherwise there would be hell to pay. He needed him to do that to give hime time to find the last two.


Jean-Luc neared the end of Sinners Row. Now it was mainly nightclubs and other more specialist venues. He scanned the surrounding area for any clues.

This end of the row was utterly dead. He knew it by reputation. Midnight to 6am this place would have been rocking. Now at 10am it was silent. He rounded a corner and stopped. A ghastly tacky building faced him painted bright pink. Two white marble statues of naked women flanked the door. Only they weren't naked currently, they were wearing monks robes that had been crudely draped over them. Bingo! Jean-Luc entered.

He stopped dead as he entered the main room. Ten minutes before he wondered if it could get any worse. It just did. Around him were tables with a few women in lingerie dotted her and there. The upper balcony that circled the main room was lined with doors. He saw a short, balding man leave one room. A beautiful black-haired girl emerged from behind him wearing next to nothing. She gave the man, who was probably twice her age, a peck on the cheek and waved him goodbye with a giggle. It was a cathouse.

A older woman approached Jean-Luc and smiled. Jean-Luc assumed manager as she was dressed in a smart skirt-suit.

"Welcome to Madame Yvette's House of Pleasure. Would you like a drink first or is there some fantasy I can make come true for you from our selection of lovely sexy girls here?" she purred seductively.

"Well yes, there is a fantasy I would like to come true. I would love to find the two missing Amarrian monks who's robes are drapped outside and get them back to their hotel before the head of the order finds them missing and starts a station-wide manhunt stroke diplomatic incident!"

The woman looked puzzled.

"Monks? Oh you mean the Amarrians on the stag party!"

"No" repleid Jean-Luc "I mean the real-life, 100% proper, true Armarrian monks, who belong to some ridiculously rich and powerful families at the top of the Amarrian Empire. They were given the wrong welcome package and clearly went out of control!"

The woman's face became worried. She beckoned him to follow as she walked up the stairs to the balcony. She stopped at a door entitled "Throne Room" and pushed it open. Jean-Luc stuck his head in.

Inside was a tacky recreation of the Amarrian throne room on Amarr Prime. Only with beds, cheap chandeliers and badly painted murals on the walls. Bottles of Gallente champagne littered the floor along side spilt booster pill bottles. He saw two men face down on the beds surrounded by no less than 6 'working ladies' in nothing more than stockings and high heels. All were very unconscious.

Jean-Luc closed the door quietly. He pulled out a card and wrote something on the back and passed it to the woman.

"I assume you have security guys here tucked away somewhere discretely. Get them to get those two monks back to this hotel room and get them freshened up. I need to keep the head of the order distracted. If he finds out about this we're both in the shit!"

Jean-Luc assumed the owner of the establishment would not want trouble and he was right. She nodded and smiled as he turned to leave.

"Certainly sir, happens all the time."

Jean-Luc did a double take at that with a 'Really?' look before heading out of the establishment.


Jean-Luc smiled as the head of the order pressed his thumb on the datapad to seal the contract. A few seconds later a message confirmed that the 50% advanced payment was transferred.

The head of the order thanked Jean-Luc for his hospitality and not to worry about the mix up with the shuttles. His monks had a wonderful time planet-side visiting some of the ancient ruins and learning more of the past religions in this region. He added that his brothers had enthused about the integrity and honesty of his company and had insisted that they placed the order for the holoprojectors with him alone.

As they left they shook hands one at a time before leaving his office. Each of the younger monks giving Jean-Luc a sly embarrassed grin, a wink or a silently mouthing 'thank you' after the head of the order had left.

After they had all gone he slumped into his chair. After the day he had he didn't know whether to laugh or cry. His company's fortunes had been reversed, but after the morning he had, he was worried his body might not last the day under the stress.

A few moments later his secretary stuck her head around the door. Sir, I have someone on line one enquiring about a large order. The call is from the system of Hek.

"Minmatar?" Jean-Luc thought "Surely they are going to be a piece of cake to deal with after the Amarrian monks!" and picked up his communicator.

The End

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