Friday, March 17, 2017

The Distraction - Part 3

Friday Fiction! Well it's Friday here and I'm in a rush. Not sure what the time is in Blogger land!

The Distraction - Part 3

Republic Security Testing Facilities Station
Tama Solar System
Planet 7 - Moon 9

"Get undocked now!" the Amarrian woman screamed into her datapad dragging the sobbing Milaja behind her. The blaster charge slammed into the bulkhead at the end of the corridor seconds after they skidded around the corner.

"Aren't I missing a couple of important passengers?" the Caldari mans voice replied. To Milaja he sounded different. Disembodied somehow.
"We got to the dancers quarters to find a couple of bad guys with guns. They didn't give chase but they took her son. Get out there and watch for any ships departing!"
"You know this is Tama station right? THE Tama station. If there isn't a pirate camp on the undock its because they are waiting to undock once their single guy outside has got you engaged! My security status is -10. Sitting outside watching the traffic isn't going to be easy! "

"Pirate gate camps? You're a bloody pirate! Less moaning, more undocking!" she replied and disconnected the call.

They rounded another corner and stopped abruptly. The Amarrian woman peering around the corner to see if they were being followed. She doubted it. Whilst there were no weapons scanners this far down in the station, one being discharged will have been reported. They waited there for a few moments until she was sure they weren't being pursued. When she was happy they returned back to Milaja's quarters cautiously. There was no sign of the men who they had found stood outside the door with her son before. The blast mark at the end of the corridor was clearly visible. Milaja shook loose of the Amarrian's grip and burst into the room. She dashed into her son's bedroom. The babysitter was laying on the floor, blood seeped from a gash on her forehead. Her son was gone. Milaja sank to her knees and cried.

The Amarrian woman walked over the table in the main room and picked up a square of clear plastic.

"Were you planning a trip?"

Milaja looked up and shook her head.

"Well I think they've planned one for you. One-way Interbus shuttle ticket to Nourvakiken. Get dressed."

Milaja looked at the Amarrian woman questioningly and realised that she wore only the coat the woman had snatched from one of the dead bouncers on the way out of the club and a few scaps of lingerie.


City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromab Solar System, Domain

The early morning light filtering through the narrow window stirred Pareh from his sleep. Today was the day.

He rose from the bed and looked at the Matari girl next to him. She was still asleep or pretending to be. Red welts crisscrossed her back, his belt that made them lay on the floor next to the bed. She'd been a nice distraction, but not like 'her'. He missed his special slave and would have preferred to have her back. That reminded him he'd ordered her killed last night. He picked up his datapad and removed the 'do not disturb' lock. A dozen urgent messages all from Azhdan flashed up. He grabbed his robe and left the bedroom. Azhdan was patiently waiting outside his bedroom.

"What's happened?" Pareh barked.

Azhdan cleared his throat.

"My Lord, there is a problem. Our agent was killed in the attempt. The girl is missing."

Pareh's face went bright red and he started to shake.

"How?" he asked, trying to remain calm but the rage creeping into his voice.

Azhdan  explained all they knew was what had been reported in the news feeds. There had been a quadruple killing in a club in the executive deck. The owner and two bouncers had been killed along with an unknown Matari man who Azhdan was confident was their agent.

"They have managed to capture her son but obviously such an unplanned action meant evidence has been left. They have had to flee the station where she is and moved to another station in hi-sec. A ticket was left in her cabin. She should follow and will excange herself for her son in a few hours. However time is against us sir. Should we cancel the plan my Lord?"

Pareh shook his head.

"We'll delay. The closing ceremony this evening will be the very last opportunity. I will accept no more failure!"

Azhdan bowed his head as his master turned furiously and slammed the door to his bedroom. He winced as he heard a crack and a shrill female scream and quickly turned and left as it continued.


Deep Space
Tama Solar System

"OK. This should be interesting." the hologram of the Caldari man said.

Milaja looked at the image that paced the room.

"Our would be assassin is dead."

"I assumed that. Normally happens when you take a broken bottle to the jugular." the Amarrian woman replied deadpan.

"No. I mean he was already dead. The cops have already ran his DNA as they had no ID on him and they got a match. Problem is the match was a Matari popsical found in the Auga system. However that guy was over 80 years old."

The Amarrian woman shrugged.

"Apparently the Joint Harvesting Refinery station in the system registered an unauthorised airlock activation. They sent a drone out and found a body. First they thought it was murder but security camera footage seemed to confirm suicide. The guy walked in, hacked the controls and overrode the safeties and blasted himself into space."

"Our assassin wasn't 80 years old."

"Nope" replied the hologram "So either we have the cluster's most born far apart twins or...."

"Multi-clones?" Cat finished for him.

"Multi-clone?" Milaja asked unsure of what they were on about.

"Multi-cloning is strictly forbidden by all the Empires and CONCORD. Whilst we capsuleers only have one copy of our consciousness at any one time, technologically speaking, there is nothing to stop the cloning equipment making a copy of your brain-state when it is in transit and placing each copy into a separate clone. Rumours are there are some people who have used the tech but you need to be a special kind of psychopath to do it."

Milaja nodded. She'd read some news story once about it. She didn't understand a lot but she got the concept.


"These are clones of someone that is happy to terminate them once they have done their mission. You might think that would be easy. Make several copies of yourself and they do a mission and kill themselves to cover their tracks. However whether a copy or not, the human instinct is to survive. Even if the original thinks it a good idea the copy might not be able to go through with it. The fact this one did means we're dealing with someone very powerful and very dangerous if he access to operatives like this. This is the part where you tell us who." the Caldari man finished as the hologram turned to Milaja.

Milaja took a deep breath.

"It all started many years ago. My parents wanted us to have a new life and we were on a transport heading to a new colony...."

She continued to recount how that colony ship was ambushed. Amarrian slave traders captured them and hundreds more and took them back to Amarr space. They were sold to various Amarrian Holders and she ended up on a farming village under a Regional Governor called Pare. As one of the few that could work a terminal, most slaves were born and raised on the farm with no real education or access to technlogy, she spent a lot of the time working on the spreadsheets on the old terminal. One of the village elders taught her to read and write Amarrian so she could use the equipment. She fell in love, married and had a child. A few years later they were told the Holder was visiting and everyone was on their best behaviour. His reputation was fearful and nobody wanted to incite his wrath. She remembered him being shown into the offices and she kept her head down. He'd looked at her most strangely before moving on. They came for her that night. Shock Troopers burst into the village. There were some deaths including her husband. She and her child were taken back to the palace. She was told there was a cell planning to escape and her husband was part of it. That she'd been removed from the village for her own safety as other unknown conspirators may want to kill her to prevent her leaking any information her husband might have accidentally given her. She knew it was a lie. After a month the Holder came to see her. That's when it started.

"What a scumbag." the Amarrian woman sighed. "One thing about my people I've never agreed with is slavery. Go on."

Milaja continued that the Holder used her as his personal plaything. He was a sadistic brute but made sure she knew her sons life depending on her. So she went along with his 'sessions'. However this gave her access to his quarters and more importantly his terminal and datapad. He thought she was just another Matari slave born on the plantation and never experienced modern life. He had no idea she'd been brought in to 'top up' the slave numbers after a couple of bad winters killed many. He was also unaware that she not only knew how to use technology but that she also knew their language. Whenever she was left alone she would go into the systems looking for a way out. An escape. It came a few months later when they were to attend a conference on an orbital station. She had seen her name was down on the guest list as a servant. Just before the day of the visit she got the holder drunk on his best wine. Using his datapad and thumbprint she sent out a number of official orders and then deleted the local copies.

They went to the conference. That night as he slept she exited their quarters and went to the public ship hanger bay. There was her son, brought up from the palace on a dropship, waiting with a guard. As per his signed orders he escorted them to a private shuttle which took them to the main station in the system. There they swapped shuttles again. All pre-paid from Pareh's accounts. By the time Pareh awoke they were out of Amarrian hi-sec. She'd also managed to pre-purchase jewellery from various outlets and had them delivered to one of the shuttles. She paid the last shuttle in cash so Pareh could only trace them to the edge of Amarrian space. They were free with 5,000 credits of gold and diamonds remaining. Enough to get them well clear of Amarrian low-sec space and into Caldari systems.

"Clever!" the hologram of Caldari man said. "But escaping, and what is very petty theft, doesn't explain why he'd hire these costly professionals to kill you. That's a bit overkill isn't it?"

The woman paused.

"There's more. I saw things whilst planning my escape. Things on his system that I shouldn't have seen. I think he plans on killing the other regional governors and taking control of the planet. I saw orders for orbital bombardment ammunition and coverage orders for anti-destroyer orbital defence batteries on the surface."

"That's a bit circumstantial"  the Amarrian woman replied.

"And a copy of his speech where he accepts the responsibility to lead the planet after the deaths of the Governor Supreme and the other eight regional governors in an orbital attack by the Matari where they were destroyed by an orbital battery?"

The Caldari man nodded, thinking.

"Well that would explain it. I think I know what he plans but I need to know exactly what you know. First we need to get your kid back. Cat, you got any of those Templar prototype clones still on ice?"

"A couple. Why? What are you thinking?"

"I have a plan! I need one of your clones, a wig, a Cockbag Thrasher and a Drake."

"To save my son?" Milaja asked hopefully.

"Yes. I have an idea but there is a bit of an awkward downside to it."

"Which is?" Milaja asked.

"To save your son and to get one back at the Holder, we're going have to kill you." the capsuleer replied.


Deep Space
Bahromah Solar System, Domain

"Encrypted message sir. Its from our contact. States mission delayed for eight hours. We are to hold and await instructions."

Captain Ragnar nodded. Inside he wanted to scream. What were they thinking? A Matari destroyer in Amarrian hi-sec. Not a massive issue providing their cover as a capsuleer remained. If for some reason their cover was blown, they'd not stand a chance.

"Captain?" Ragnar asked.

"We'll hold here for a while. I don't like it but if we dock or use a gate we're going to run the risk of someone realising we're not running a legitimate ident code. Capsuleers sometimes just hang in space for hours. We'll bounce in a while. Nav-Com, chart some safes at least 15au apart. Four should do it. XO, you have the bridge. I'm going to gunnery."

With that Ragnar rose from the Captain's chair and left the bridge. As the lift descended he thought about the reward. A million ISK was a lot of money. Converted to Republic Credits there was more than enough for everyone to retire to the good life. The lift banged to a halt jarring his body as it stopped abruptly. He thought about reporting the fault to the engineering crew again but decided against it.

"Depending which way this mission goes we're either all dead or all rich in which case I'll be selling this flying junk yard anyway." he grumbled to himself.

The Gunnary section was dimly lit. The loading mechanisms for the 280mm artillary cannons lined the far wall. Everything was rusted and dull except for the gleaming silver shells in the racks.

The Captain walked over to Gunnery Sergeant First Class Girn.

"All set Sarge?" he asked.

"Aye Captain. Well as much as we can be. We've never done an orbital bombardment but we've set everything the best we can. Would have been nice to have done a test first."

The Captain nodded.

"Pointless unless its a planet with a similar atmosphere and the Amarrian's might start asking questions why we're firing on their temperate planets?"

"Aye. It'll be a case of 'all right on the night' then Captain?"

The Captain smiled and nodded being much less confident about the outcome than he made out.

"Easy Chief. Warp in, fire a couple of volleys and back to Matar space with a load of cash and the knowledge we've struck one hell of a blow to the Amarrians."

"...or that's the plan at least" he thought to himself.

To be continued.....

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