Sunday, November 23, 2014

Angels and Sinners

Fiction Sunday! Yes I usually only post fiction on a Friday, but its the Pod and Planet Fiction Contest entry period and I'm on holiday so uploaded these posts before I went away. This one is in the A Day in the Life category as it mentions player-characters although it is totally made-up. Actually it was supposed to be humour.... erm.... I don't know, got a few days to select which category when I submit it officially.

I had been keeping the idea for this one on a back burner waiting for the P&P contest as I thought it would be a good entry. Then I tried to turn the idea into a comedy story... and failed. The idea was great The Angel Project as the background in a Eve meets The Devil Wears Prada. However I just couldn't get it to work. I've put it up here anyway but, yeah, not what I envisaged. 4357 words.

Angels and Sinners

The datapad dropped with a thud on Fanason's desk. She looked down to see there was an online job application form open on it. She looked up at her boss.

"If that's a subtle hint, its not so subtle." she said sarcastically leaning back..

"Its an assignment. Fill it in, lie about your current job, I've already put in a cover story in there and got a reference for you that will make sure you get the job."

Fanason picked up the datapad, the current employment section was indeed already filled in with some fictitious post to a powerful CEO. She'd worked for the Odette Explorer for two years as a reporter, this was for a post as a personal assistant to a CEO. She looked at who the company was.

"You have to be shitting me. I cannot do that! WE cannot do that! Its a charity!" she protested.

"Don't give me any shit here Fanason. When Gramaert went there last week to do that 'feel-good' piece he came back convinced they are hiding something. The staff were all on edge and were scared about talking to a reporter. Something is going on there. Just because its a charity doesn't mean its clean. There is something more, something sinister. You are going to find out what!"

With that her boss turned and walked off signalling the debate, not that there was any, was over. She was vaguely aware of the piece Gramaert was doing. A article on a capsuleer charity. She had originally scoffed at the idea when it was brought up in the monthly content meeting. To her it was entirely ridiculous. A charity set up to help the immensely powerful starship captains of New Eden. They gave out starships for free that Fanason could never even dream of affording to struggling Capsuleers. She shook her head at the thought. As a capsuleer they were always given a replacement ship by the SCC which could make them in thirty minutes what she made in five years. Yet some still needed a charity to help them out. "Oh boo hoo, poor little immortal starship Captains" she thought. Fanason picked up the datapad reluctantly and started lying.


The shuttle swung around the massive golden space station. Fanason peered out of the window at her new home for the next two weeks. She had two weeks to find out what was really happening at this charity. Then a relative would become sick and she'd apologise and have to return to the Federation. The intel she gathered would then be passed to a senior investigative reporter who would do the story. They would then blame a senior source at the charity and make it out like a high-level leak.

After docking she checked into the pre-booked hotel room and went exploring. She'd never visited the Amarrian Empire before and wanted to see some of the local sights. The other task was shopping. She was working at a charity based in Amarr space. She needed some more conservative clothes and had decide to shop locally to help her blend in.

The next day she exited the transit vehicle outside the charity offices. She looked up at the imposing building, the charities logo being projected in holographic form above her head. She swallowed and entered. After giving her details at the reception desk she was asked to sit and wait. Eventually an attractive man approached her.

"Fanason?" he asked with a deep gravelly voice.

Fanason stood and smiled shaking his hand.

"Welcome to the Angel Project. Please, this way." he held out an outstretched arm towards the lifts. He let her enter first and then followed her in. Inside he took the security badge and pressed it against the sensor. A light turned green and he pressed the button for the top floor. Fanason studied him carefully. He was fit, very fit. Well groomed and athletic with expensive clothes. Not the kind of guy she would have imagined worked at a charity. May be Gramaert was onto something. As soon as the lift doors closed he spoke.

"OK a few ground rules. Never be late. I mean that. Never. You wait until the boss leaves before you leave. Don't even try and quote your employment contract, security will dump you on your pretty little ass on the side walk before you can finish the sentence that ends with '....45 hours per week'. She takes her coffee black, no sugar. It had better be on her desk, steaming hot, within 60 seconds of her arriving in the morning. You don't want to know what happened to the person who forgot her coffee one time. Your main tasks will be organising her diary, managing her emails and meetings, arranging travel and accommodation and checking transfer schedules or ships, modules and ammunition. Any questions?"

Fanason just stood there open mouthed. She was stunned.

"As well as those things I'd also recommend for you personally you don't stare open mouthed like that at her and also, may be you want to rethink your, erm, wardrobe?"

Fanason was now doubly stunned. She glanced down at the traditional Amarrian outfit she was wearing.

"You haven't said her name. What, what do I call her?" she finally managed trying to compose herself.

"Mistress." was the simple answer

Before she could if he was winding her up the doors opened into a busy office. It looked like any office throughout the cluster. However, it appeared to be almost entirely staffed by attractive men. As she was led through the office she noted not a single one looked up or paid any attention. She didn't class herself as beautiful but she didn't think she was wholly unattractive. The fact not one single guy appeared to take any notice did wind her up a tad. They walked through a large set of double doors into a smaller office. Fanason was relieved to see another woman finally who was sat behind a desk.

"This is Rebbois, our secretary. The Mistress' office is through there," he pointed to another set of double doors "and yours is through here."

The side office was rather nice Fanason thought. It had two doors, she assumed the other was into the bosses office. She still couldn't believe they had to call her 'Mistress'.

"Your log-in details and instructions from your predecessor are on that datapad there. I'd use the morning to get acquainted with everything. Our Mistress usually gets in around lunch today. Good luck!" and with that he turned and left leaving Fanason stood there wondering what the hell was going on.


Thankfully her predecessor, whoever that was, had left detailed notes. Fanason found it was easy to get into the swing of things. She'd even practiced making the coffee from the expensive machine that was installed in the corner of her office. She only needed to bluff her way in this job for a fortnight and she'd be able to get back to her normal life.

He heard the clicking of heels out of the slightly open door to the secretaries office. "Good morning Mistress." That was the Secretary. Fanason didn't hear any reply. "COFFEE!" she suddenly thought and jumped out of her seat. She quickly made the drink and knocked lightly before entering the other office. It was huge. A massive window at the back looked out into deep space. The office was tastefully decorated and featured several large sofas and tables. The woman at the huge desk didn't look up. Fanason nervously started to cross the room. From what she could see the woman was Amarrian. Blonde hair that was almost white. She wore very expensive clothing. Currently she was looking down at her desk reading a datapad. Fanason placed the cup of coffee on the desk and stepped back. The woman turned her head slightly and looked at the cup. She then slowly turned to look at Fanason. Her face was expressionless as she slowly looked her up and down. Fanason felt as if she was being apprised, judged. Her boss slowly turned her chair and crossed her legs. Fanason noted the heels could be used as weapons they were so long and pointed.

"So you are my new PA."

"Yes..." she hesitated a second unsure... "Mistress."

Fanason saw a small half-smile turn up the corner of her mouth. She stroked her chin and then spun her chair around back to her desk.

"That will be all." was the curt dismissal.

Fanason walked back to her office feeling rejected. She didn't know why, she was simply here to get the story which so far had eluded her. It was only her first day but so far she'd come up blank. Everything she'd seen seemed to indicate this was a legitimate charity.

Later she heard the muffled bump of the door. Someone had just gone into the CEO's office. She thought she could hear shouting. She stood and put her ear to her own interconnecting door. There was definite shouting and a large thud on the wall made her jump back. She went through the other door to the entry office. She could still hear the shouting but the secretary was typing away like nothing was happening. She didn't even look up. Fanason was about to ask what was happening when the door to the CEO's office burst open. One of the men she had seen in the office earlier ran from the room in tears. Fanason just stood there staring at the sight of a grown-man jogging through the office crying. She glanced down at the secretary who was still working and had not even looked up. Fanason returned to her own desk shaking her head.

An hour later the intercom buzzed.

"Come here!" was the simple order. Fanason grabbed her datapad and entered the office. Her boss was working at her desk. She approached her desk and stopped.

"I'll be leaving soon. You will as well. I need you to pick up my dress for tonight and deliver it to may home."

Fanason recalled dress makers and home address was one of the first things that was detailed on the notes left for her. She now knew why.

"You are working tonight. We have a gala evening and I need you with me. 9pm, the Sauren Ballrooms, Deck 3."

Fanason wanted to speak, she had so many questions. She was frozen in the presence of this woman.

Her boss finally looked at her.

"Yes, you will need your datapad. No, you current clothing is not suitable, that is why I have instructed my fashion consultant to sort you out with a little something when you pick my dress up. Yes, it will be a very late finish. Did I miss anything?"

"No Mistress." she mumbled before slowly exiting the office, feeling the bosses eyes burning a hole in her back.


It was mid afternoon as Fanason walked down the busy shopping promenade. She glanced occasionally at her datapad to make sure she was going the right way.

She occasionally winced seeing a rich Amarrian walking down the promenade in expensive clothes with a Matari slave following behind trying to carry multiple shopping bags plus control three unruly children. Being Gallente she'd seen similar situations with the rich and their hired help. However this was different, these were not hired and the Glave collar around their necks reminded Fanason of that.

Finally she reached the dress-makers. It was a very exclusive boutique down one of the smaller promenades. She entered the shop and was dazzled by the array of clothes lining the wall. A very attractive woman stepped out from a doorway. She raised an eyebrow at Fanason.

"Can I help you?" she said in a tone that made it clear she thought Fanason was lost and was certainly in the wrong the store.

Fanason stammered as she tried to reply. The shop assistant gave her a look that seamed to scream "We've got a right one here."

Before she could say any more a slightly older woman came out of the back room and rested a hand on the attractive shop assistant.

"I'll see to this customer." she said kindly. The assistant gave Fanason another look of contempt and left.

"You must be Fanason? I've been expecting you." she said in a tone the complete opposite of the bitch that had just seen her.

Fanason just nodded. The lady stood where she was and slowly looked Fanason up and down, her hand stroking her chin.

"Mmmmmm yes. I see what she meant. This way please."

Fanason followed the lady into the back. Everything today was just overloading her. She wondered what the lady meant by what she said but now just was too stunned to ask.

"Stand in the middle and strip please."

"What?" Fanason asked in shock.

"I need to measure you and the god-awful outfit you are wearing needs to come off for me to do so!"

Fanason just looked down at the dress she was wearing that had now been insulted twice that day. She was coming to the conclusion that Amarrians where brutally honest with their fashion advice. She unzipped the dress and let it pool at her feet, crossing her arms tight across her chest.

"Arms to the side please." the woman instructed "And no fidgeting."

She felt as if she was back at school. From the ceiling a number of green lasers started to scan her body. She stood there still as the lights bounced around her body. Finally they stopped.

"OK you can put the grandma dress back on. The dress for your boss is there." she pointed to an expensive looking dress cover hung on the wall "I'll need you back here at 7pm sharp."

"Why?" Fanason asked.

"To dress you of course. I have your measurements so need select the dress and make alterations. Don't bother about hair and make-up, we'll do it here."

"But...." Fanason wanted to protest but she couldn't find the words.

"Please darling, trust me" the lady smiled.


Fanason slightly wobbled as she climbed the steps to the ballroom. The heels she wore were much higher than what she was used to. She was also trying not to trip over the Amarrian silk ballgown that flowed over her every curve. She was in unfamiliar territory both in location and dress. Even the underwear she wore was certainly not what she was used to. Far too extravagant. The shop owners words hung in her mind as she recalled when she protested the underwear. She had pointed out that she didn't need the designer underwear laid out as it would all be covered up.

"Darling. When you feel sexy and confident under your clothes you feel and importantly act sexy and confident!"

Begrudgingly she had changed into the complete outfit. She had to admit, the lady was right. Other than being unsteady in the overly high heels she felt like she could take on the world. She reached the top of the steps and glanced at her watch. 8:55pm. Exactly five minutes later a jet black transit pulled up at the bottom of the steps. The doorman opened the door and Fanason saw her boss emerge. She looked amazing in the dress that Fanason had delivered a few hours before. She gracefully climbed the steps and glanced over at Fanason. She saw her boss do a slight double take and saw a hint of a smile.

"Follow me!" was the curt instruction.

"Yes.... Mistress." Fanason mumbled and fell in behind as they entered the ballroom.

The party was already in full swing. A band was playing a mix of music from all four Empires. Waiters carried silver-platters around full of flutes of Gallente champagne. Fanason noted that like the office, they were all attractive men. No women were serving that she could see.

"Rixx!" Fanason's boss cried as they approached a man talking to a group. As he turned Fanason felt a chill down her spine. The man was clearly a capsuleer. He smiled at her boss as they greeted with a kiss on each cheek. He looked at Fanason over the bosses shoulder. Her blood ran cold as she stared into his emotionless light blue eyes.

"A new PA?" he asked. He boss glanced around at Fanason.

"Yes, she's new."

"So the rumours about the coffee incident are true then?" he said in all seriousness. Fanason visibly gulped.

"Oh Rixx darling, you shouldn't listen to idle gossip." her boss responded "Now tell me all about your event earlier this month. I heard it was the place to be seen for frigate pilots!"

The two wandered off arm in arm as Fanason stared rooted to the spot.

"He's a pirate you know." a voice whispered into her ear.

Fanason slowly turned around to be faced by a Caldari man in what looked to be a black military uniform. He stood there tall, looking down on her. The aloof and superior attitude screaming 'capsuleer'.

"If thats supposed to intimidate me, your uniform is doing a better job." she said from no where shocking herself. The man in front of her smirked.

"A lady of the Federation has nothing to fear from me either in, or out of, uniform. I am Darth Skorpious and I fight for the Federation."

"A Militia pilot?" Fanason questioned.


"So you kill people."


"Just like that Rixx person."

"Well yes....."

"The difference being he gets more money that you!"

The Caldari Capsuleer stood there, a smirk on his face. Obviously surprised someone would say that.

"I can assure you, the militia pays much better than piracy."

"So you are in it for the money then?" Fanason said, smiled, took a flute from a passing waiter and turned and walked away. She wanted to bite her fist. She couldn't believe she just did that. Quickly she scanned the room realising she was supposed to be working. She spotted her boss still with Rixx and quickly crossed the room. She carefully slid in behind her boss hoping she wouldn't notice her absence. As her boss chatted to the pirate she replayed the last conversation in her head. She wasn't that person, why did she provoke that capsuleer. She was vaguely aware her boss was on the move again. She followed as she worked the room taking notes in her datapad as various people pledged money or equipment to the cause. Finally the reached a small lift at the back of the room flanked by two huge Matari bouncers. They stepped inside.

"OK, you are off the clock now." her boss said coolly. "If you are able to, which I do wonder, enjoy yourself." and with that she walked off to mingle.

Fanason was about to ask what she meant as the lift 'pinged' and the doors opened. The sight that greeted her was akin to a Gallente Rock Star's party. The penthouse of the venue was in pure party mode. Her boss vanished into the crowd with grace as she stopped a few steps into the room. On an elevated stage, oiled male dancers gyrated for the crowd of ladies gathered around the edges. She recognised several, they were guys from the office! Suddenly they appeared to be much happier.

She noted the CEO's secretary at the bar she walked up just as she was receiving a huge green cocktail from a topless, and oiled up, barman.

"OK. Now I'm really confused! Its the same faces as the office, but its certainly not the office." she said. The Secretary smiled at her.

"What's to be confused about. Our boss likes having lots and lots of hot men about. So she's not the most easy going boss in the cluster. Yes, the hours are long and the work is hard and she drives you like a Matari slave. Yes, I'm forever having to do extra work as we mostly employ male exotic dancers in the office positions who cannot cope. But the eye candy, pay and the invites to these parties. They seriously make up for it."

"And what if your late with our Mistresses coffee?" Fanason asked.

"You've heard about that?" the Secretary said in surprise.

"Not really but...." before Fanason could finish an oiled dancer raced across and dragged the giggling Secretary to the dance floor.

Fanason just lent against the bar and watched. Two songs later the Secretary returned to the bar, the over sized cocktail glass empty.

"You need to let loose" the secretary slurred.

"I'm people watching. Its fun. However its not what I expected. That guy over there, Rixx someone. He's a pirate apparently so I expected him to, well, but he doesn't appear interested in any of the hot girls that have practically thrown themselves at him. Then those three over there keep staring at him and whispering. Then that Militia pilot there, Darth someone who is a high-ranking officer, but I've seen him kissing three different women! It doesn't add up!"

The Secretary giggled and indicated to the barman she wanted a refill.

"Darling. Rixx isn't interested in these party girls as he's happily married and with two kids. Villainous pirates who terrorise the space-lanes can be loving, faithful husbands and fathers too you know. The three guys there are Tuskers. They really don't like Rixx's choice of ammunition so apparently really don't like him. Gallente Militia Officers, well they are just the horn-dogs of New Eden. Look, you cannot judge Capsuleers on what you read in the media."

Fanason just looked bewildered at her.

"Here. Take this!" the Secretary handed her a small vial. "Working for our boss," she whispered quietly "is hell, so enjoy yourself!"

With that the Secretary produced another vial, popped the top off and emptied the contents onto her tongue.

"What the hell!" Fanason thought and did the same.


The next morning was the worst morning Fanason had ever experienced. Two cold showers, five cups of strong coffee and two energy bars later and she was still exhausted and hung over. As she arrived at the office she found Rebbois to be in a similar state. They didn't speak, just nodded and half-smiled at each other in mutual suffering.

The click of the CEO's heels made Fanason jump from her seat an hour later. She just managed to get the coffee on her bosses desk in time. She looked at Fanason, almost but not quite smiling.

"Did you have a good time last night?" the CEO asked with no hint of emotion in her voice.

"Yes Mistress, thank you."

"You don't remember do you?"

Fanason's blood ran cold.


The half smirk on the CEO's face told her something was wrong, very wrong. The CEO picked up a datapad and pressed a button. A large screen lit up with a view of the private party. Fanason could see herself at the bar with the secretary. Her boss fast-forwarded the recording and activated the sound.

"100 million ISK!" was the shout followed by a cheer.
"200 million!" another sounded.
"400!" a further voice boomed.

"Come on boys!" the image of Fanason swayed on the edge of the stage, surrounded by the male dancers cheering her on "Its for a good cause. I'm not stripping off this dress for less than half a billion ISK!"

A massive cheer went up. Fanason was mortified. She remembered nothing of this.

"One billion ISK!" a voice at the back of the room called followed by a massive cheer. Fanason watched the image of her take a low bow and started slowly swaying to the music reaching for the zipper of her dress.

The CEO paused the video.

"I must say, you did rather well. That billion was the second largest donation of the evening."

Fanason gulped.

"What was the largest?" she hoped to change the subject quickly.

"Two billion for when you and Rebbois....."

Fanason covered her open mouth with her hand in shock.

"Relax, you only kissed! Some Caldari Capsuleer from Nisuwa offered a two billion donation if you two would kiss. I think you took Rebbois by surprise as you never gave her chance to agree before you pounced on her! You really don't remember do you." the boss said smiling.

"I.... I..... I....."

"Well its good to see the real you. I prefer it to the mask you were hiding behind and I don't mean the one you wear here, I mean the one you have been hiding behind most your adult life. I expect you to resign from the Odette Explorer and continue your job here. You are better at this job than a reporter anyway plus I pay more." and with that the boss went back to reading her datapad like nothing had happened.

Fanason stood there frozen. Her boss knew, she knew everything.

"Yes I knew before you started." said her boss without looking up "I knew within an hour of receiving your application. I'm a capsuleer, you think we don't investigate in detail everyone who gets close to us. I thought it might be an interesting game, but in your week here I saw something in you. I was right. I want you to stay. Obviously you can go back to the Odette Explorer but any story released about me will be met with that video in response. Oh, and there is plenty more on that tape."

Fanason just nodded and slowly walked back to the office wondering how to phrase her resignation letter to her boss at the Odette Explorer. Gramaert was right, they were hiding something, but nothing criminal. A charity staffed mostly by male exotic dancers, wild parties above formal fund-raisers and a powerful boss who took no nonsense.

"Oh and be careful with the coffee. You were nearly late this morning and....."

Fanason stopped for a moment but didn't turn around.

"....and I don't want to know what happened to the person who was late getting you your morning coffee last time!" she finished for her as she closed the office door behind her.


  1. A great yarn my friend. Better than you think. I enjoyed it.

  2. I enjoy the fiction, and this was a good piece. Thanks.


  3. Loved it ;) smiled at the Rixx part, too