Friday, July 22, 2016

Blue Flame of Revenge - Part 7

Friday fiction! Escape pod here.

Blue Flame of Revenge - Part 7

Thanan leant back in the seat and looked at his datapad. The GalNet news site showed numerous Police cruisers outside the Esalion university building. The story stated that there had been gun fire and a kidnapping. He had wanted to call Deuverin to find out what had happened but he didn't want to risk it. All the man had to do was to put a bullet in that cops head and evacuate. Had he really messed that up? If he had, it wasn't a complete disaster. The most they'd know is that he was behind it, although they'd not know what 'it' was. Given time they could put the clues together. However it would be a miracle if they were able to work his plans out for the information they could get from Deuverin and the university. He stood and walked out of the passenger cabin and down the corridor. At the end he descended a flight of steps and entered the cargo hold. In the centre of the hold was the device. It was rigged up like some kind of musician's stage. Metal lattice beams made up a box where the six molecular lasers were attached. All pointing to a plinth in the centre of the frame where the crystal was sat.

"Is it ready?" he asked as he approached.

"Yes sir. Obviously there is no way to test it but it is finished. Once activated, fusion should occur within the hour. Although all the calculations on this are theoretical. I would advise we are on the other ship and breaking orbit before you start the process. The scientists say one hour, I wouldn't give it sixty seconds. Nobody has done this before, we have no idea what will happen."

Thanan nodded. Everything about the mineral including its very existence was theoretical until he had found it in the uncharted system.

"And the back up plan?"

"It is complete. Cargo bay 2 is stocked with sufficient material. Once the process is active, should anyone enter and try and stop it, they will set it off."

Thanan smiled. He had no guarantee that his main plan would work. The scientists could be wrong about the mineral. It might not meltdown and start a cascade reaction in the planets atmosphere. Whilst not as effective, the backup plan was to fill the other cargo bay with dangerous waste and build a more traditional explosive. If the blue crystal did not work as intended, when the authorities investigated the abandoned ship it would detonate on sensing the intruders. Destroying the evidence in the process and casting a toxic cloud over the most populous city on New Caldari Prime. Millions would still die. Not the billions he hoped for, but a small consolation prize.

"Good work. Ensure everything is ready. We are taking the long way round so there is time. We'll be leaving Federation space in two hours."

Thanan left the workers to ensure the molecular lasers were set and returned to the cabin.

He picked up his datapad and navigated to a secure folder. A dozen video clips were located there. He picked one in the middle. His wife appeared, chained to a wall. The masked man in front of her ignited a plasma torch as she screamed. Thanan's fingers gripped the arm rest of the chair turning his knuckles white, a tear welled up in his eye as he watched. The rage returned. The rage that was driving him to destroy a planet.


"Six starships?" Riku exclaimed.

"Yes. They broke off in three pairs but are going in the same direction. All Viator class Gallente transports." Yoshi showed the blips on the main screen.

"Course?" the Captain asked.

"They left via the Algogille stargate. At a guess they are heading to Caldari space taking the hi-sec route. That'll swing them around the Uedema pipe. When they reach Perimeter it will depend if they are heading to Jita or New Caldari."

The bridge crew fell silent. Either target would be a crushing blow for the State. Jita 4-4 was the primary trade hub for the capsuleers, the destruction of that station would cripple the Caldari economy which was already relying on Amarrian aid to prop it up. However that would pale into insignificance against the destruction of New Caldari Prime and the billions of lost lives.

"We could alert the authorities." Yoshi suggested.

"Risky. We're not sure this isn't a decoy. Currently Thanan doesn't know we are on to him and know about the blue crystal. He might have already deployed it on the planet and a simple call could detonate it. How is the tracker we slipped into the book Aki?"

"It wasn't designed for space Captain. It works great on stations and planetside like at the university but difficult to pinpoint in the big black. The book is on one of the transports, we just do not know which one."

Sosa studied the starchart and rubbed his chin. He flicked through various filters showing the status of each gate such as the number of jumps and how many capsuleer ships had been destroyed.

"Looks like the Serpentis are busy. That gives me an idea. Yoshi put a call into command, the Legion is currently assisting in that area supporting the customs service. Get them to put a customs blockage on the Sivalka system. Let it be known they are searching all cargo vessels due to a Serpentis plot."

"Won't that spook Thanan?" Riku asked "If the bomb is already set up he might detonate?"

"Yes and no. Its happened several times in the last month, someone like Thanan will have factored that into his plans. I'm guessing he's got eyes on the gates, someone flying ahead in another ship. He'll have the option of doubling back but I don't think he'll take it. I'm betting he'll head here." the Captain tapped on the map "He'll wait it out. He wants to see the state burn in person so he's not going to rush. He'll go here and that's where we're heading."

"Awfully big gamble Captain."

Sosa nodded. Riku was right. If Thanan detoured he'd get so far ahead they might not be able to catch him. In that case it would mean a call to the Caldari Navy and hope the device was aboard one of those transports.

"Let's do it and hope Lady Luck is smiling on us."

The Captain left his bridge crew to carry out his orders and walked down to the recreation deck. The Katsu Maru may have looked like a rusting hauler on the outside and in the publically accessible decks. However the hidden levels matched the most luxurious private yachts. He found Doctor Gian and Detective Aleira having lunch. He grabbed a ready prepared meal from the serving area and sat down with them.

"Ladies, I need to ask your help again." he said.

"Anything." Doctor Gian said before Aleira could respond. She just nodded in agreement.

"Wait until I finish, you might not like it."

"To help save an entire planet, it's going to have to me something to put me off." Gian said with a smile.

"Well, we're seriously lacking on non-Caldari crew and we have to assume that Thanan's inner circle share the same views as him. The computer security on his ships is military-grade and we cannot hack in from range. We need to get into those computer systems and that's where you two come in!"

"Us? How can we possibly help the Legion hack starship computer systems?" Gian asked.

"I need you to go clubbing."

The two women looked at him quizzically.


Bique entered the Captain's Club on deck 14. The music was low and the lights bright. It was early and the bar was mostly empty. The orders were to stay on the ship and await instructions but he was bored. He could be back on the bridge in less than ten minutes, a lot less time than it would take to get the ship powered up and have undocking permission. They were not capsuleer ships, it took half an hour minimum to leave a station. Also his boss was clearly up to something illegal. All this cloak and dagger was leaving him in need of a drink and some relaxation. Plus Thanan wasn't going to kick off on him if he was doing something dodgy.

He walked to the bar and grabbed a Rust Rinse. He prefered the strong Matari ale and certainly needed something to take the edge off things. He glanced about, none of the usual bar-girls that frequented places like this were about. Wrong time of day. He guessed that was for the best. Didn't want to get caught with his trousers down, literally. However he really needed some company. He moved over to a booth and sat down.

Bique wasn't halfway through the bottle when he heard the clip of high heels on the deck plates. He crained his neck to see who it was and let out a low whistle to himself. The first one was Amarrian. She wore a sparkingling gold mini-dress and heels that looked like they could be used as an offensive weapon. Her friend was Gallente. Dark, dusky and wearing a metallic green dress that clung to every curve. They were laughing and joking as they approached the bar.

Back on the Katsu Maru the senior staff were gathered around a monitor. The grainy security camera feed from the bar was displayed on the screen.

"Seriously Riku. You couldn't have toned it down just a tad?" Yoshi sighed.

"Hey it wasn't me!" Riku protested "I showed them the costume store and they made their own choices. Blame the Captain!"

Sosa laughed! "Don't look at me either. I told them what we needed, this is their plan! Actually if you want to blame anyone you can blame Aki. We'd not need to do this if he could have hacked the ship's security remotely."

"Hey!" Aki protested "They are using a Esalion v4 algorithm on those ships. If it was military-grade I'd be in there now. That security is a whole different level. Makes military-grade look like the security on this bar's camera systems!"

Sosa laughed. "Don't worry. I know Thanan has taken extra precautions. We don't have the time for a bruteforce hack. The ladies will get us in."

"We'll I'm not happy with it." the XO grumbled "One might be a cop but she's not military and the other is just an egghead, a scientist. We're putting them both in a lot of danger!"

Sosa nodded. "They know the risks. They wanted to do this. We needed non-Caldari for this to work."

The officers fell quiet and looked back at the screen. It appeared the bait was working.

"Can I buy you girls a drink?" Bique asked as he approached the two women from behind.

The two women turned slightly and smiled.

"Depends what you expect in return." the Amarian purred.

"We're not cheap." the Gallente one he was more interested followed up.

Bique told the bar man to get them whatever they wanted and Gian replied with Gallente Champagne. The three moved over to the booth whilst the barman prepared the drinks.

"You girls looking to party?"

"Depends what we get out of it?"

"What do you usually get out of it?" Bique asked.

"Fifteen hundred each and we only work together." 

"Three 'K'? That's steep." he complained.

"Oh, we're very worth it. Say, as you are in here I assume you're a Captain. If you are going anywhere near the Throne worlds or Caldari hi-sec we could keep you company on your run for a reduced rate?" Gian purred.

Bique fell quiet for a moment.

"I might be heading to The Forge." he finally said.

"Well for five hundred each and a ride to any of the stations there we'll make it the best trip you've ever taken."

"I'm not docking at a station, going planetside."

"Does it look like we work with dropship pilots? We work with starship Captain, we need to be in a station."

"I dunno. Let me think."

Back on the Katsu Maru the atmosphere was tense.

"So the target must be Caldari Prime unless the bomb is being stored on a planet. It's possible the device is on one of the ships but we cannot be sure. We need to get inside one of them." Riku stated.

The Captain nodded and pressed the communicator in his ear.

"You are doing fantastic, but we need you to get on his ship." Sosa whispered.

Back in the bar Aleira heard the Captains message from the tiny device in her own ear. Pretending to fiddle with an earring she tapped twice to signal she had heard.

"Look. We really need to get out of Federation space. Things are dull here. I mean look at this place!"

Bique looked around. It was seriously dead. What he didn't know was the patrons and girls had been paid off to leave before he arrived. The Katsu Maru crew had been watching all the ships and had people ready to go in each bar they may need to take over. He was still considering the risks when he felt a stocking-clad foot snake up his inner thigh and bury itself in his crotch.

The Amarrian had bare legs he remembered so it must be the Gallente.

"Come on big boy. You're not going to leave us to take care of ourselves are you?" the Amarrain asked with pouty lips.

"What do you mean take....?" Bique started before his jaw dropped as the Amarrian took the Gallente womans head in her hands and kissed her deeply.

Bique craned his neck around the booth towards the bar.

"Check please!" he croaked in a strained voice.


"We're in!" Aki announced. His fingers danced over the keyboard.

"Find them!" Yoshi said quickly. She had been fretting over the two civilians since they had watched them vanish inside the Viator with Bique almost twenty minutes ago.

The screen flicked between security feeds. It settled on a large room. The two women were sat on the bed casually chatting. Bique appeared to be laying on the floor surrounded by the remnants of a shattered bottle.

"Comms back up!" Aki stated.

"Ladies. Looks like quite a party." Sosa spoke.

"Oh its been a bit of a flop. I take it we did good?" Aleira.

"Brilliant. You plugged it into the Captain's terminal. Couldn't have got me further along."

"What happened to the Captain?" Yoshi asked.

"He got a bit fruity. I don't know what sort of girls he thinks we are!" Gian laughed.

Aki worked quickly. By installing a hardware link directly into the ship he was able to circumnavigate most of the security.

"Is the bomb on one of the ships?" the Captain asked impatiently.

"Time Captain. They still have heavy security between the various ships. Its not on that one."

"One down, five to go." Riku.

"Nearly broken through to the next ship.... oh." Aki froze.

"Oh?" the Captain asked. Suddenly they saw the women spring up from the bed as alarms sounded.

"Shit! They've spotted the hack! I'm being locked out. They are going for emergency undocks!"

Yoshi rushed over to another station.

"Confirmed Captain. Docking control just broadcast unauthorised undocks in progress and all traffic to remain where they are."

The crew watched as each of the monitors went dead as they were locked out of the systems. The last monitor showed Bique's room. A group of uniformed men ran in and started struggling with Gian and Aleira before the connection was fully severed and the screen went black.

To be continued...


  1. Sorry for being nosy... But wasn't Deuverin taken care of by Ingvar when they rescued Aleira in the previous part?

    1. Yeah, teach me for being lazy and getting the names off Level 5 Agents, not many of them and easy to duplicate lol

  2. Leaving us on a cliff-hanger . . . I do like the way you pace your chapters. Each one advances the plot in a way that flows well.

  3. To Be Continued .... my three most hated words in the English language. Excellent as always. Can't wait for the next part

  4. Good pacing :). Looking forward to part 8

  5. Part 8?? Drackarn, I have to admit I am pretty bummed that there isn't a part 8 available this morning. Hope all is well.