Friday, March 4, 2016

The Worker - Part 3

Fiction Friday. Two escape pods. Help out one of our own here, a guy that does a tremendous amount for the community. Also if you're going to Fanfest, how about a the best T-shirt ever!


The Worker - Part 3

Ragnar stared at his datapad. He couldn't believe it. He thought with Fanason at the salvage controls they'd get some good stuff from the strategic cruiser wreck but he never imagined this. A lot of the items on the cargo manifest he'd never seen before. Capacitor consoles and intact armour plates didn't even have a price on his local market. These were traded by capsuleers for ISK. There was also ship modules and even some drones. They were rich.

The next jump was uneventful. No Sansha, no capsuleers, no Serpentis. As they entered warp towards the regional stargate Fanason got up from the console and almost snatch the datapad out of the Captain's hands as she walked past.

"Hey!" he protested.

"Sorry, need this to reprogram the transponder before we jump out of null. What do you want this flying scrapheap to be called?"

"What about 'How the Fuck Did We Manage That?' as an option?"

"OK 'The Lucky Escape' it is then!" she replied as she left the bridge.

Mairanard manned the helm as Fanason went to engineering. They monitored some of the local news channels. Spokespersons from the regional government, navy and even the Sisters of Eve relayed the terrifying stories of the Sansha incursion.

"So she doesn't want a cut of the loot?" Mairanard stated as the news swapped to the coverage of the capsuleers attacking the Nation's staging areas.

"She was just desperate to get out of there. She also highlights she's a wanted felon by the Feds. If we give her money it might be traceable. Bang! We just helped a wanted felon and got 10 to 20 on a 'roid penal colony. However I have an idea." the Captain replied as the ship started to drop out of warp. At that moment Fanason returned.

"OK transponder has been spoofed but we'll be caught if we go anywhere near hi-sec. We'll need to dock at a larger station and then it'll take a couple of days of laying low until the Sisters find our escape pods and classify the ship as lost. On close inspection it'll be clear this ship is not what it says it is but they are unlikely to be able to connect it to the old name."

Ragnar nodded. They needed to get to a trade-hub to deal the salvage and that meant hi-sec. Not a great place to be when there is likely a large reward for information on your whereabouts still. The next system had an outpost but just like the one where they found Fanason, it was small. Not a good place to hide.


-o0o-

The jump into low-sec brought the huge green Gallente nebula much closer. Ragnar had thought about Fanason's plan to head to the nearest low-sec system. She was right, they didn't want to linger in null. The sparsely populated space was not a place to hide in, they needed crowds they could disappear into. They stopped off briefly at a small outpost for supplies but did not linger. It was almost certain the Serpentis would have a reward out on them.

"Captain. I've got some ships on scan at the next gate. Looks like a camp." Fanason said as she leaned over the console.

Gate camps were common in low-sec. Pirates, capsuleers, pirate-hunters. The gang there might completely ignore them, or they might attack. It was impossible to know. The ship shuddered as it dropped out of warp.

"Shit!" Mairanard excalimed as the viewscreen showed a number of Serpentis ships.

"What do we do? Run?" the Captain asked.

"No. They've seen us. We need to take them out." Fanason replied frantically working at the console.

"What? Yes you capsuleers are good but the ship is unarmed. What we going to do? Shout 'pew pew' out of an airlock?"

"I made a few changes whilst we were docked. Remember that strategic cruiser we looted and salvaged? Well when we were docked I moved some bits around!"

Suddenly the viewscreen went red as Fanason brought the ship into combat mode. Ragnar had never used these systems. He looked at the drone control systems. Gone were the salvage drones, replaced by the looted 'Augmented Warrior' class combat drone.

The Captain and his quasi-first officer looked on in amazement as Fanason worked. There was nothing they could do. Three Thorax class attack cruisers should have made mincemeat out of them. They headed for the gate as their combat drones destroyed the first ship. Alarms sounded as their shields started to fail under the blaster and railgun fire of the pirates. Ragnar looked nervously at the readouts as the armour took heavy damage.

"Erm, you're scratching the paint a bit." he joked nervously.

The seconds cruiser exploded in a fireball as more alarms sounded. Ragnar watch as she gave the drones new orders whilst trying to keep the ship in one piece. He was aware Mairanard had moved close and was gripping his arm.


"Almost there!" Fanason muttered to herself. Structural alarms sound as the last pirate ship turned to warp away.

"Oh no you don't." their mortal capsuleer hissed. A fireball burst from the rear of the cruiser which appeared to start a chain-reaction. The lights on the stricken ship flickered and went out as it drifted away. Fire burning from every port on the destroyed ship.

"Right, lets jump, get to the station and see about a respray." Fanason smiled.

-o0o-

It was cramped in the small Captain's quarters with the three of them. Ragnar and Mairanard were registered as Captain and First Officer in the Gallente ship records. A facial-scan would give their true identities away. This wouldn't matter with the station authorities, they were not wanted. However it was likely the Serpentis were monitoring everything they could hack into. This station was an obvious stopping point and likely the syndicate had agents here looking. Linger and Ergrad were not so registered so remained on the ship and had access to the station. It was a gamble that any inspection team would buy a crew of three. However this was low sec, and unlikely that they would be that thorough.

"I really need to buy some more clothes." Fanason grumbled as she exited the bathroom. She was still wearing the same clothes she had been wearing when she picked up the Captain. At least they fitted. Ragnar had sent them to be cleaned and she'd been wearing some spare clothes of Mairanard which were five sizes too large.

"I don't know. I kind of like that outfit." Ragnar laughed.

"Yeah. That's kinda the point when you are in my profession. Or should I say ex-profession."

"What's your plan when we get to high-sec?" Mairanard asked trying to change the subject.

"First is to get that chip out of my back. The Serps cannot use it to track me off the old station but it might be detected if I get too close to any of them. Actually these clothes are still needed. I need to find a good surgeon who will accept an alternative payment method." she laughed.

"We can pay for that!" Mairanard quickly suggested.

"No. You cannot do anything for me that could be traced back to you by the Feds. You are taking a big enough risk helping me escape. I can never repay you."

Mairanard laughed. "You repay us? If it wasn't for you we'd be mindless zombies in Sansha Kuvakei latest perverted vision of a eutopia! Here have a drink!"

Fanason smiled and accepted the offering. It was good quality Gallente vodka and after the earlier engagement they all needed a drink. Sitting on the sofa Fanason asked Ragnar and Mairanard their plans for the future. The Captain explained he was going to trade-in the Noctis and buy a industrial hauler. No more chasing wrecks. With the cash they'd make from the salvage he could get a good ship and a decent crew and haul. Mairanard said she'd had enough of life in the space-lanes.

"Find both a nice planet and a nice man hung like a Matar stallion and retire really early!" she laughed.

"Really? Settle down? Planet-side?" the Captain said in surprise.

"Come on Captain. It's been a wild ride but this run has brought it into perspective. We've nearly been abducted by the Nation and almost vented into hard vacuum twice by pirates in the space of 72 hours. You said that salvage is worth millions of ISK right?"

"Right."

"And that will convert to tens of millions of Federal Credits?"

"Yes."

"Split between the five of us?"

"Four of you." Fanason corrected.

"So whilst its an exciting life, I can see peace and tranquility in my retirement. Not many of us get to retire in our late 20's but I'm going to be one of them!" Mairanard finished raising her glass. The other two joined in the toast.

"Wild untamable Mairanard settling down. I never thought I'd see the day." the Captain laughed. Fanason looked at Mairanard and raised a questioning eyebrow,

"Hey, I'm not retired yet. I still have a few more days to shock you Capt!"

With that she leaned over to Fanason and kissed her full on the lips. Fanason was too shocked to react. Mairanard pulled back slightly and smiled at her. Fanason returned the smile and wrapped her hand around the back of her neck and pulled her back in. The Captain looked on opened-mouthed as the two women shared a passionate kiss. Hands began to roam, small gasps of pleasure escaping lips as fingers wrapped around breasts and slid under clothing. Finally Mairanard pulled away a few inches and turned her head to the Captain. He'd seen that look before, a look of lust.

"Hey Capt. I think our hot-shot pilot here is wearing far too much. Want to give me a hand over here?"

The Captain rose from the chair and sat the otherside of Fanason, pulling her jacket off whilst kissing the side of her neck. Mairanard moved back in and slipped her tongue into the ex-capsuleers mouth.

"But not these!" Mairanard stated ending the kiss whilst running her hands up Fanason's legs. She traced the interface of the black lace and warm flesh at the top of her stockings with her thumbs. "These can stay on!"

Two hours later the Captain carefully untangled himself from the two sleeping women. Mairanard naked and Fanason wearing only the black lace-top stockings. Quietly he dressed and took a pair of scissors from the medical cabinet. Being careful not to wake either of the women her leant over and took a few strands of Fanason's hair and cut some free. He then silently went back to his ship.

-o0o-

A day later they looked at the SoE preliminary report on the Sansha Incursion. Hundreds of thousands abducted including everyone from the outpost they had left. Over two thousand ships lost either destroyed or taken by the Nation. The Captain looked at the list dispalyed on the big screen. There was his ship. Registered as destroyed by the Nation.

"Well its time to head for hi-sec I guess." Ragnar stated.

Mairanard and Fanason nodded and stood.

"No, you two are staying here!"

The two women looked at him in shock.

"Before you start, listen. Its one jump to high-sec. Me and Linger and Ergrad can do that and get to Dodixie. We'll sell the salvage and check on the situation. We'll be back in 48 hours. You two sit tight."

With that he turned and left, not allowing any arguments on the matter.

-o0o-


Two days later Ragnar returned in shuttle. The salvage had been very good and they were now rich. He was not going to take no for an answer so had made plans to reward Fanason for saving them. He docked in the station and ordered the docking crew to take his small cargo to deck 14. He tipped well to make sure it got there. He sent a message to a contact on the station he'd spoken to the day before telling him to get the room set up as requested. It was all going to plan.

As neared the door to the captain's quarters he wondered what he'd find inside? Would they be....?

A hulking Matari Brutor carrying a stun baton was certainly not what he was expecting to find as he opened the door. Before he could react his world went black.

The freezing water thrown in his face brought him round. Ragnar was tied to a chair. They were in some sort of old store room. Mairanard and Fanason hung by their wrists in the centre of the dank room.

"Morning Captain!" a woman walked around in front of him. She was Gallente, mid-20's and he could guess who she was.

"What a shame you ignored our messages. They could have prevent such unpleasantness."

"Yeah. Unfortunately I didn't have time to reply. You know, what with the fracking Nation trying to abduct us and everything."

The woman laughed.

"By the time we are finished you'll wish they had."

She pulled a metal cylinder from a pocket and dropped it his lap. He looked down at the strange device.

"It's a military-grade trauma injector. Soldiers use them on the battlefield. You hit the red button and four spike appear from the end. You then jam that into the gaping hole you or your buddy have. It fires a sterile expanding foam into the wound with coagulant agents and some nanites and drugs or something. Providing you're not hit in the head, heart or lungs, that thing will potentially save your life."

She then pulled a huge knife from her belt and walked up to where the two women hung.

"So Captain. You risked your crew's life for that slut over there? Any regrets on your decision making yet? Now you get to make your choice all over again."

The woman turned to face Mairanard who was sobbing. She begged as the woman pulled her t-shirt up exposing her midriff. The Captain joined in the protests as she gently ran the knife across Mairanard's stomach, tracing around to the side. She then plunged the knife into her abdomen eliciting a shrill scream.

"NO!" the Captain cried.

The woman then walked over to Fanason.

"May be I should have done this first and saved us the trouble!" she sneered before stabbing her deep in the side. Fanason screamed as the woman twisted and wiggled the knife cruelly this time, taking her time to inflict pain and suffering.

"OK let him go!" the woman ordered as she pulled the knife out.

The Captain felt the bonds holding his wrists together cut away. He grabbed the trauma injector and stood. Two hulking goons stood behind him, blaster pistols aimed at his face.

"Goodbye Captain. And best of luck with your decision!" the woman laughed as she left the room quickly followed by her thugs.

Ragnar looked down at the injector and then at the two woman hanging in the centre of the room. Dark, almost black blood pumping from their savage wounds.

-o0o-

Ysater woke with a start. Something had happened, but what? She'd been on the ship. It had been three days since she'd dispatched that slut that made Tuvan cheat on her. It had been big news. Disgraced Federal Navy capsuleer found dead from vicious stab wound. That Captain had chosen the save his crewmate. She knew he would.

Looking around it appeared to be a small quarters. Not a cell. Why was her memory so fuzzy. An attack. Yes, they'd been attacked. Some random egger. She'd got to the escape pod. The escape pod had been tractored! She'd been captured. Why would a capsuleer capture her?

She stood on woozy legs and looked down. She was naked. Moving over to the wardrobe she found five sets of identical outfits. The underwear and shoes were the same style.

"No. It cannot be!"

She looked at the slutty outfits, fit for a cheap hooker. It was revenge, but how.

Her datapad was on the side blinking. She picked it up ignoring the notification and went to call her HQ. The datapad wouldn't connect. It was disconnected. She looked at the notification. A video file. She played it.

"Hello Ysater." the woman said. Ysater had no idea who it was.

"This face and this body is new so you are probably wondering who I am. All I will say that you tried to ruin my life and in doing so I met some special people. Hours before you killed me a man who had become my friend returned from high-sec with two surprise presents for me. First was a fast shuttle. The other was far more special. By sneaking some of my DNA he arranged for a new compatible body with implants. I died, but they were able to get my body to a scanner in time. Before my neural patterns had started to break down. So the tables are turned. However I am not vindictive. There is no tracker implanted on you, no orders to the outpost management that I'll hunt them down and kill their families if they let you leave. The shuttle price to get off that outpost is fifty thousand credits. Once you've earnt that you're free. I've even paid your first three days of rent and food to allow you to settle before starting work. I'm afraid its not cheap living there."

The video stopped with the words "VIDEO DELETED" flashing in big red letters.

"SLUT!" Ysater screamed.

She sat on the bed continuing to swear to herself. She was going to get revenge.

-o0o-

Ysater walked down the deserted corridor teetering in the high heels. The skirt was too short and too tight and the halter-neck top showed more than it covered. She'd stayed in the small quarters all day trying to think of an alternative. In the end she'd accepted she'd been left with no choice. However as she could leave she'd simply find an acceptable Captain and offer to be his companion until she got back to civilization. The problem was there was nobody about and no signs to direct her. She was wandering lost. Finally she turned the corner to see two men stood talking. They turned to look what the movement was and both froze, their jaws hanging slack. They were almost drooling as she reached them.

"Where do the Captains drink here?"

"Erm.... what?" one asked not taking his eyes from her chest.

"The starship captains. There must be a bar they frequent."

"We's only got the one bar missy. Its in sector 3a!" said the other, similarly staring at her breasts.

"Finally" she thought to herself "Some useful information!"

"And how does one get off the this rock?"

"Wells a miss. You gotta buy a seat on the supply ship. Its fiddy large you know."

"Yeah, yeah I know!"

"You want us to show you the bar miss?"

"Yeah, lead the way!" she said rolling her eyes as the two 'special cases' turned. She thought it was just her luck for the first people she runs into to be two simpletons.

Finally they started to see more people as they reached what looked to be the main area of the outpost. Each one looked at her in total shock. It wasn't until they'd passed a dozen that she realised they were all men. Mostly labourers she judged.

"What is this outpost?" she asked her guides warely.

"Dis is the best veldspar mining outpost in the constellation!" one said.

"Dats because its the only mining outpost in the constellation!" the other finished, bring a laugh from both of them. Obviously a well used joke in these parts.

"So you get ships coming all the time to haul the ore out right?" she said as they continued into a sort of market street.

"Ships? Nah. The 'roid belt is unstable. We fire the mined ore in rockets out to be collected like doz egger customs things collect. Also stops people leaving before their time is up. Here we are!" one announced.

Ysater looked in horror. The one bar looked dilapidated from the outside. As they walked in she found it was no better on the inside. As she entered the entire bar fell silent. Dozens of muscled, filthy miners looked at her in amazement. 

"Rockets? But you said you can get off when the supply ship comes! So ships do dock right?"

"Yeah, the supply ship does dock. Its the only one and they only do it so often as it's dangerous you see."

Ysater glanced around. Dozens of lustful eyes were on her.

"How often does it come?" she asked.

"Once a year."

She let out a sob. Pausing to think what that could mean.

"When is the next one due?" she asked dreading the answer.

"Well, dat last one came in yesterday miss. I thought it musta brought you as we not seen anyone as purty as you before."

"Or any girly here actually thinkin' about it." the other stated matter-of-factly.

A scream of anger and frustration broke the tense silence of the bar.



The end.

5 comments:

  1. Sorry Drack but you rushed the ending, shifted main characters and unfortunately lost the thread of the story.

    I was interested to see how your story would evolve as they worked to escape the incursion and the serpentis, I was kind of hoping you would explore the PVE style of jump, ping, bounce, cloak, hide and wait for the perfect opportunity to jump out via the gate. The Industrial PVP that most pew pew'ers just don't get or understand and wont acknowledge as PVP. Additionally it's been awhile since I took a noctis out but I don't remember using combat drones on one, probably just my bad memory and I am not in front of EVE atm to check so forgive me if I have misspoken, but just seemed like you took a short cut to getting the Indy crew out when they would have used a more passive method to extract. Please don't take all this the wrong way, I am only one reader and most likely I don't reflect the majority, thank you greatly for your post and I do enjoy the Friday reads.

    SLy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah sorry, it was rushed. This week has been hell and got to Friday morning (first day of the weekend) with nothing. So tried to get something done.
      Noctis does however splat Serpentis rats. I killed five cruiser rats with the flight of light drones it can carry. Also Fanason was piloting the ship. She wasn't industry crew, she was ex Federal Navy.
      Hopefully I won't be wondering if I'm going to be out of a job next week and have to leave the country. I'll have a think about the PVE stuff you mentioned though. "The Hunted"? :)

      Delete
  2. She's not vindictive you say... Yeah, sure.

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  3. I am not fond of the end - I would have shortened it somewhat, like this:

    ---
    The video stopped with the words "VIDEO DELETED" flashing in big red letters.

    A scream of anger and frustration broke the renewed silence of the room."
    ---

    and leave the rest up to the imagination of the reader.

    That said, I enjoyed the story!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really liked the ending and its open enough that you can always return to the story from one of 3 perspectives I say good job :)

    ReplyDelete