Friday, March 7, 2014

The Price of Vice

Fiction Friday! Escape pod... errrr.... there are a lot of good posts currently! You could see Rixx's art or read about the new ship skins here.

The Price of Vice

"Gold!" thought Gage as the charter shuttle was approached the vast Amarrian space-station in preparation to dock. "Why are they so obsessed with that gaudy colour".

After docking and clearing customs it was a five minute trip before Gage entered the hotel's lobby. It was like walking into a jewellery box. More gold lined the walls and reflected in the bright white marble of the floor turning that too a gold hue. The ceiling was a deep red. Banners hung down, probably representing some great houses of the Amarr Empire, but he didn't care, he just wanted to check-in and sleep after his long journey.

Gage owned his own maintenance drone business. Semi autonomous robots that could do general maintenance duties in hazardous conditions. He had embarked on a two-week tour of Amarr space to try and sell some products. He had salesmen who worked for him but the Amarrians preferred to discuss business with the company head, not some lowly salesman. He was nearing the end of the trip and this would be his last stop. Just two nights at the Hazarna Hotel on the Amarr VIII spacestation. He would be glad to get back to the Federation, he hated Amarr space.

He got checked-in and was soon in his suite. Gage's business was good and after visiting more remote, and less hospitable, stations he had paid for a good suite in a five-star hotel. He had signed some big orders during this trip and the profits would easily stretch to a few nights of luxury. He turned the holoprojector on and flicked through the menus. He ran through the channel listings and turned it back off. Every hotel outside of the Amarrian Empire offered movies for businessmen away from their wives, but not here. Not in the Amarrian Empire. No skin-flicks at all. Gage expected such but he still hoped he might be lucky and be on a more relaxed station. He was married with two young children, but he enjoyed the company of women. His constant business trips meant he was able to sample them regularly. However, in the past 12-days there had been zero opportunity. He knew there must be services available, where there was demand, there was always supply. Its just he didn't know where to go. He unpacked his suitcase and collapsed on the bed. He'd need an excuse to go on another trip soon to make up for this one. Somewhere in Gallente space, they catered for travelling business men with an 'appetite' so much better.

A few hours later he woke. It was early evening so he quickly showered and headed down to the restaurant. The food was excellent and he sampled a fantastic bottle of Amarrian wine. However he still had a hunger. After dinner he walked through the lobby and eyed the Concierge. In the Federation he'd have no issues of walking up to him and telling him what he needed. Here, it was a different matter. He could end up in jail in a matter of minutes. In the end he decided against it, it was too much of a risk. The Concierge might be able to supply women but in this space he was just as likely to call the police. Instead he retired to the bar for a drink. As expected the bar was quiet and the stools at the bar itself were empty. In any Federation five-star hotel he could have guaranteed that there would be three or four attractive women sat there, dressed to kill. Working. It was always the same. They would ignore you for the first few minutes to ensure you were alone. Then they would smile at you, then strike up some small talk. Before long they would be asking you what you were planning on doing after you left the bar. If you replied 'going back to my room' then they'd smile and discreetly whisper an amount. 300 credits was low and they could go up to 1,000. You'd then tell them your room number, pay your bill and retire to your room. Five minutes later there would be a knock on your door and you'd be in for a very good night! But not here, not in the damn Amarrian Empire. Didn't these men have needs?

He took a seat at the bar and ordered a whisky. Yes, he'd need a proper blow out in the Federation after this!


"You sure? That will be your fifth and I'm guessing you have business tomorrow?" the barman asked.

Gage looked at him and nodded.

"Why not. Given that booze is the only action a man can get here, fill me up!"

The barman looked around carefully.

"What other action are you after?" he said lowering his voice.

"Well if I was in the Federation instead of here I'd probably be trying to decide on a nice brunette or a firey redhead! Instead I've got the choice of wine or whisky!"

The barman looked around again.

"Everything is obtainable friend."

Gage suddenly perked up.

"How?" he asked expectantly.

The barman slid a datapad across the bar and Gage saw it was waiting for two fingerprint scans. Most transactions in New Eden were done with a thumb print. Scanning both index and middle finger gave the recipient a lot more access to your information. They couldn't do anything, but they could check your personal details, overview of your finances and the like. Contracts could be set for immediate completion up with your unique ID and account details. However they did require further confirmation with another 'two-finger scan' and on your own registered datapad, not a third-parties. So even if this barman set up some bogus contract he could still reject it.

"Seriously? You think I'm going to give a barman that level of access to my personal information!" he said finally.

"Suit yourself. But I'm not talking any more without knowing who you are."

Gage looked at the barman and back to the pad. He was doing a background check on him! Of course, what Gage wanted was a major crime in the Amarrian Empire. This barman wanted to make sure he wasn't a cop. If he did the identify check the barman would know a lot about him, but what could he do with that information? Not a lot really. Gage pressed his fingers on the sensors and the barman took the pad back. He consulted the pad for a few minutes and passed it back. Gage looked and there was a page of thumbnail photos of half a dozen women. He smiled as he scanned through the profiles. He reached the end and there was a black silhouette portrait named 'special' which caught his eye. He clicked that and it brought up a new section but it only contained only one girl. He read the profile and her bio. Gage passed the datapad back to the barman.

"That one!"


Gage paced back and forth in his room. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation. This could be the best ever. The details he had seen on the datapad repeated in his head. He knew the reputation of the Amarr Empire but never expected this would be possible. He had thought about it since and this was probably his only chance to have an experience like this. He wouldn't be able to do this in any of the other three Empires but of course it would be possible here! The Amarr enslaved the Matari race, they viewed them like cattle.

The chime indicated there was someone at the door. He approached it and pressed the button to activate the small screen on the wall that showed who was in the corridor. He saw a hulking man standing next to a petite Matari woman. He opened the door and the beast of a man just nodded at him and pushed the girl forward into his room. She stumbled forward in her ridiculously high-heels, regained her composure and walked into the middle of the room with her head bowed and her eyes averted. The hulk then left without saying a word.

Gage looked at the girl. She had a long coat on and had her eyes firmly fixed to the floor. She didn't move or say a word. Her head was shaved and the make-up was light. He walked up to her, she didn't acknowledge him. He unfastened the belt of her coat and pushed it off her shoulders before taking a step back. He soaked her in with his eyes. No, you wouldn't get this even in the Federation. He approached her.

"Look at me" he said in a stern voice. The girl slowly lifted her head for the first time.

Smack! The crack of the palm of his hand against her cheek resonated around the room. She looked shocked and upset but didn't move. Using his other hand he slapped her other cheek. She offered no defence. He grabbed her by the throat, finally she responded by grabbing his wrist lightly. She didn't try to free herself, just held his wrists as he squeezed. Gage looked at her as her face turned red and she gasped. Finally he threw her to the bed where she landed face down. He removed his belt from his trousers and doubled it up. This was going to be great he thought.


After five minutes he stepped backed panting. Sweat soaked his 200 credit dress shirt and his arm hurt. He didn't care, he was enjoying himself. He looked down at the sobbing girl laying there on his expensive hotel bed. Her back, buttocks and backs of legs were a mass of red welts.

"Turn over!" he said in a commanding tone. There was no reaction.

"TURN OVER!" he shouted.

Slowly the crying girl complied. Gage grinned as he raised his arm, aiming at her chest.

"If you use your arms to cover yourself, you will be very, very sorry." he growled.

A beeping behind him made him pause. He turned around, it appeared it was coming from the girls long coat that lay crumpled on the floor.

"What...." he turned back to the girl but she wasn't sobbing prone on the bed any more, she was stood right in front of him.

"How..." he never finished the sentence as she punched him square in the nose. He heard a sicken crack as his nose broke and felt the coppery taste of blood as he fell. She followed up with a swift kick to the ribs and another between his legs. As he lay gasping for breath she retrieved her coat and took a datapad out.

"The contracts ready for you to sign you fracking animal!" she said menacingly and picked his own datapad off the desk. "Are you going to sign it, or do we need to do it the hard way?" she sneered.

She held the datapad in front of his face. He looked at the contract summary in horror. It was a contract that would clear his businesses bank account in exchange for a few minerals worth a fraction of their true cost. Gage realised it was a version of a scam that he'd seen before that relied on people thinking it was a great deal. "Half a million units for only that much! What a bargain. I need to accept that quick before someone else does!" Only to realise the text of the contract description might have said 500000 but the actual volume in the detailed transfer system was 50000. A massive loss, all for not counting the number of zeros.

"Frack you, you whore!" Gage spat and lashed out.

The woman easily skipped around the flailing arm before stamping on his stomach. The air was blasted out of him and he lay gasping for breath. She smiled and recovered her coat. She retrieved something from one of the pockets and walked back over to Gage who was still struggling on the floor. She flicked her wrist and a bright blue blade appeared from the hilt she held in her hand. An Amarrian laser blade.

"You have no idea how happy I am that you said that you sick asshat!"


The woman walked into the seedy bar on deck 4 and entered the back room. She sat on a chair in front of the desk and put her feet on the table. The man behind the desk looked at her over the top of his glasses. The spiked heels of her stilettos pointing menacingly at him.

"All went OK?" he asked in a measured tone.

"Yeah. We just sold Gage Drones Incorporated a small amount of Mexallon for a large amount of cash. The shell company has already transferred the money on and its been closed down. By the time he's in a state to talk to the cops, they'll never be able to trace the money back to us. We've paid off the barman and he's left station with a new ID. Clean get away."

"You said 'By the time he's in a state to talk'. So what state did you leave him in? He's alive right? The local cops won't aggressively pursue a scam on a foreigner, but a murder...."

"Relax Hoz." she replied "He'll live. He wouldn't sign so I had to confirm the contract for him myself. I used his own datapad and these." With that she reached into her coat pocket and tossed two severed fingers onto the desk. The man behind looked at them with disdain.

"Lovely!" he replied whilst tilted his head to one side. Something else had caught his attention.

"You OK?" he said nodding to her leg. The woman looked down. Her coat was hanging open and revealed a bright red welt on her upper thigh. She quickly covered the exposed flesh.

"Yeah as long as you pay me an extra five grand for what that sicko did to me. I played the helpless submissive as agreed until your guys had the contract ready. They took too long and that perv didn't hang around in getting nasty. Think of it as compensation."

"Look Samana, five grand is a bit much. You are paid well for the services you....."

The woman reached into her other pocket and tossed the contents on the desk.

"Five grand you say? Actually it does look like he was a bit of a sicko and you went above and beyond the call! So lets say seven and and a half? You should get down the med-bay and get those looked at too. I'll arrange the transfer of your bonus right now."

Samana smiled and whipped her feet off the desk before standing and heading for the door.

The man behind the desk just looked in horror at the two severed fingers on his desk, along with a pair of bloodied testicles laying next to them.

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