Friday, March 3, 2017

The Distraction

Fiction Friday. After a few months break and some Twitter nagging we're back.

The Distraction

City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromah Solar System, Domain

Pareh looked out of the window at the stone courtyard below. Chairs were being laid out in front of the red-carpeted stage. Banners of the Royal Houses of the Amarrian Empire fluttered against the high walls in the gentle breeze. Huge potted plants were being moved into position my straining Matari slaves, their glave-collars glinting in the sun.

"Is everything prepared?"

His personal adviser, Azhdan stepped from the shadows in the corner of the room.

"Yes my lord. A suitable ship and crew has been identified to undertake the mission. We are making contact today. We have no doubt they will agree to it. Arrangements have been made to give them a little persuasion."

"Yes, but are we covered?"

"Yes my lord. A planetary defence battery will be pointing just in the right direction to retaliate after their first shot. They will not have time to fire a second time. The warp-in co-ordinates we will provide them with will place their orbit low enough that any wreckage will burn up in the atmosphere. There will be no evidence to the exact identities of the perpetrators but the scans of the ship type and its origin from across the border will let speculation run in the direction we want."

Pareh nodded thoughtfully.

"I was thinking about our, shall we say, continued healthy well-being, more than covering our tracks."

"Of course sir. Three minutes before the strike you will be informed of a small-scale slave revolt in the sub-district of Kaz-Lent. Nothing that the governor-supreme or any of the other regional governors would get involved with, but they will all get the notification on their datapads as it is a class-2 security event. They will understand why you will need to depart and return to your office immediately."

Pareh smiled and looked down on the 9 golden thrones in the front row of the courtyard facing the stage. He imagined the look on their faces when they received the notification during the event. They'd all nod at him supportingly but inside they'd also be smiling internally that he suffered such a public embarrassment during the congress in front of everyone. Oh little they knew. Everything was was going to plan. Almost everything.

"What about... her?"

Azhdan paused. Ensuring his reply did not anger his master.

"Our agent is finally closing in sir. It should only be a matter of time now until that loose end is tied up. She has been tracked to Caldari space and we expect a successful conclusion very soon my lord. We have delayed executing the plan until the last possible time sir. This is likely to be the last event where everyone will be together. It is now or never sir. It has been six months since she fled. Will she even hear about the events that will occur here tomorrow? Even if she did, would she dare say anything for risk of exposing herself?"

Pareh scowled. They were cutting it too close and there were too many unknowns. 

"Make sure you impress on our agent that time is of the essence. I want that whore in transit back here before the conference opens tomorrow! And make sure she is unhurt. That is my privilege!"


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

Milaja kissed her sleeping son on the forehead and quietly backed out of the tiny room.

"He's asleep so you should have an easy night" she whispered to Isela. The Caldari teenage girl lived in the next cabin with her parents. The girl would babysit in the evening for a few local credits.

"He'll be fine. I'll message you if there are any problems." the girl replied.

Milaja smiled and grabbed her bag. The terminal by the door showed a message waiting. She rarely got messages. Her heart sank. Already?

She waved her hand over the device and the message appeared on screen.


She sighed and waved her hand again over the sensor to clear the message before leaving. The station's corridors this far down were dirty and rusted. Various unknown liquids dripped from leaking overhead pipes and conduits. The lighting flickered and often went out completely for a few seconds. This wasn't the Throne Worlds where everything was golden and gleaming. This was low-sec and not only that, a Matari station in Caldari controlled low-sec. The Caldari were allied with the Amarr so whilst tolerating this station they did make things difficult for the owners. Constantly tying them up in red-tape and making deliveries of maintenance goods and spare parts delayed. She had arrived four months ago after escaping from "him". However she'd gone from one form of slavery to another. With no money, experience or qualifications she'd ran out of the small amount of money she'd stolen from her once master quickly. The economy was bad and getting work was hard. She did what she had to but it wasn't enough. In just under 24 hours she and her 3 year old son would be evicted from the tiny cabin they rented on one of the stations lower decks. Things looked bleak. Unless she got a big spender tonight.

A tear rolled down her cheek and she brushed it away with the back of her hand as she reached the old rickety lift that would take her to the upper decks of the station.


Joint Havesting Refinery
Auga Solar System
Matari Space

Ragnar picked up the large glass of frothy ale and downed half of in in one. It had been that sort of day. Whilst patrolling a local asteroid belt a wing of Angel Cartel pirate frigates had jumped them. They had to fight, the local space-station paid them to provide security in the system and running from the pirates would have lost them their contract, not that it paid much but work was scarce. Thankfully the five frigates appeared to be straight out of pilot school. The cannons on his Thrasher class destroyer had cut them down but at a cost. The damage sustained to his ship was many times over the value he was paid for the patrol including the bonus for the five confirmed kills. His crew were partying at various other establishments, high on the thrill of battle and glad to be alive. As Captain he didn't want to party, they'd been really lucky. He just wanted to know how he was going to pay for the repairs to his ship.

"Looks like you need another drink" a voice said behind him. He turned to find an elderly Matari man stood there.

"Yeah, rough day." he muttered and turned back to the bar, not in the mood for company.

"I know, I was looking at those gaping holes in your Thrasher. You took quite a beating out there." the old man replied.

Ragnar was suddenly on guard. Who was this man and why was he taking an interest in his ship.

"I have paid for your ship to be fully repaired and would like to talk to you about another mission. One slightly more risky than paroling the rock belts for the odd pirate but it pays well and will be a blow to those fracking Amarrians."

"I'm listening." Ragnar said cautiously turning on his bar stool back to face the old man.

The old man lowered his voice.

"The Republic is caught up in negotiations with the Amarrians and they are making no progress. CONCORD continues to sit on its hands maintaining the status quo. I work for an organisation that takes more of a direct approach to dealing with the Amarrian scum. Very soon some of the most brutal slave-holders on a small planet meet for a conference. They do this every couple of months however this is to be the final one. They have decided that coming together is too risky and are breaking with their tradition. The planet they live on is old-school Amarrian. They treat their livestock better than our captive brothers and sisters. I have access codes that will make your ship appear to be a capsuleer vessel allowing you to get to the planet. Then it is simple. Warp to the co-ordinates provided, lock your targeting computer onto a beacon that one of our agents will place. Then fire two volleys of the orbital-bombardment ammo that we will provide and warp away. A few hours work, minimal risk for the pay and a cool million in cash, and that is ISK not Republic Credits!"

Ragnar spluttered into his drink.

"A million intersellar kredits? That's a lot of cash for what you sell as an easy mission? Surely you have resources for this mission if you have that sort of cash laying around? Hell, for a million a new pod-jockey would take that contract."

"It is true that we have many very rich supporters both in the Republic and in the Federation. However, we prefer to use independent captains for our direct action. Makes us untraceable. Privateers are better than mercenaries or the capsuleers which leave a paper-trail or invlove agents who record everything. Plus nobody will suspect a small security contractor in the arse-end of low-sec to undertake such a daring mission. Seriously? Who would come looking for you?"

With his current financial situation and his hatred for the Amarr slave-holders Ragnar didn't have to think hard. The old man was right. The Amarrians would instantly suspect one of the big anti-Amarrian organisations.

"When do you want us to leave?"


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

After clearing security, Milaja entered one of the executive levels of the station. Up here the air was fresher and the corridors were somewhat cleaner. It was still a Matari station but they made more of an effort for their wealthier customers. Taking the special staff routes, small corridors hidden behind the main thoroughfares, she entered the club's changing rooms directly and sat down at a dresser next to her friend Iriganda.

"Hey babes!" the Caladri woman greeted.

Milaja lent across and gave her an air-kiss to both cheeks.

"What is it?" Iriganda asked sensing her friend was upset.

"Rent is due and unless I get a good one tonight we're homeless tomorrow." Milaja replied trying not to get emotional.

"Aw babes" Iriganda said rising from her stool and hugging Milaja."Things will be alright. You'll get a drunk Caldari Mega-Corp Executive panel tonight. You'll have so much money you'll be able to treat that little scamp of yours to the latest holovid player!"

Milaja laughed and broke the hug.

"I hope so Iriganda, I really hope so."

Iriganda returned back to her dresser and was soon finished and vanished inside the club. Milaja took her time getting ready. Tonight was important. Various other girls came and went as she slowly applied her make-up. Since the Capsuleer citadels had sprang up in the system the older stations were seeing a big reduction in visitor numbers especially the business types. Working at a Gentleman's Club she relied on those business types. The odd privateer who themselves were struggling to live on what they earned was not going to put food on the table. Low-sec space was suffering a full on economic melt-down.

She had brought her best outfit in the hope of luring a big spender. She smoothed the black synth-silk stockings over her legs and clipped the lace-tops to the straps of the suspender belt. The feel of the silk reminded her of her old life. 'He' liked her to wear stockings. However he bought her pure Amarrian silk, none of that cheap synth material. She shuddered and started to find it hard to breathe as she recalled what came next when he was her master. She shook her head to clear the image of him. Covering her legs meant it would be awkward if she was asked to dance on the pole but she took the risk. The heels were silver and the stilettos looked like deadly weapons. She slipped on the last two pieces of her underwear and reached for her tiny outfit. The dress was fishnet and did nothing to hide her body, which was the point.

She finally was happy and entered the main club from a side door. Her heart sank s she looked around. There were only two customers and they were sat with girls already. Another half a dozen girls sat around in their skimpy outfits looking completely bored staring into their datapads. She approached the bar and greeted the barman. Taking a glass of water she lent back on the bar surveyed the almost empty club.

"Yeah, I'm fracked." she whispered to herself.

Back at the security checkpoint which she had passed through earlier, Guard 1st Class Arnald Tolangranner glanced at the scanner. The Matari man that stood in front of him had no concealed weapons or viral agents.

"Reason for visit?" he asked not really looking up.

"Business. My company is developing new tethering technology that can be retro-fitted to existing space stations. Help you guys compete with these new Capsuleer citadels." he said with a smile.

Arnald wasn't really listening. He was glancing at the the couple stood next in line. In fact it was the woman that had got his interest. Amarrian and an absolute stunner. Jet black hair and a short dress showing off a fantastic pair of legs. Arnald wished they still did physical searches rather than this remote scanner crap! She was with some Caldari man and patiently waiting in line. Arnald waved the Matari onward into the executive level, keen to get a better look at the hot Amarrian woman next in the queue.

Back in the club an hour later Milaja was listening to a man intently.

"Then when the Sansha were about to board my ship think we were defenceless I set off the smart-bomb and BOOM, vaporised them all!"

Milaja nodded and smiled as if she was interested but she had come to realise Nilen here was full of bullshit stories but bereft of real cash. The club had picked up a little in the last hour and she'd managed to bag herself a Client. Unfortunately she'd been unlucky and got one who wasn't spending. Cheap drinks and had only one private dance which was the cheapest on the menu. He'd even tried to haggle her down on the 20 credit dance price.

"I think that woman over there is trying to attract your attention" he said pointing.

She looked across and saw Iriganda waving from a booth the other-side of the room.

"Excuse me a moment, it might be important" she lied, smiling, and started to walk over. She looked at who Iriganda was sat with. Her heart started to race. The man was Caldari but the woman was Amarrian. They didn't get many on this station and certainly not in a club like this. Did she work for 'him'? Had her recent past caught up with her? She forced the thoughts out of her head. It was unlikely, she couldn't live the rest of her life thinking every Amarrian she saw was there to kill or capture her. There were trillions of Amarrians and probably no more than a dozen knew her. Iriganda rose and met her a few metres from the booth, far enough so the couple she was with couldn't hear what she had to say but near enough so that the other girls in the club didn't try to sneak in. It was a cut-throat business and if you left your Client alone for seconds another girl would sneak in there.

"What's up?" Milaja asked.

"Doesn't look like you are having much luck there." Iriganda stated glancing over at the privateer Milaja had been sat with. Another of the girls, seeing an opportunity, was already sat with him flirting like mad.

"No, he's rich in tall space-faring stories but poor in cold hard cash. Thanks for saving me! He'd  have been likely to occupy me all night and I'll never get a proper spender."

Iriganda laughed "That's not why I called you over. I got a present for you!"

Milaja looked quizzically.

"The two behind me want to go full VIP. Look, I know you're in a spot so I made an excuse and said I'm not the best for VIP with a couple as I'm very much a man's girl. I said you were the best in the club, especially for the ladies and said I'd get you over."

"Seriously? You're giving up a VIP for me?" Milaja said in amazement trying not to get emotional.

"You go give them a wild time babe and may be you'll get a big tip, something to get you out of the spot your in. And before you say it, yes, you do owe me one!" Iriganda replied with a wink and a smile before heading towards the bar.

Milaja quickly composed herself and walked seductively towards the couple smiling. The nagging feeling of dread being so close to an Amarrian not going away but the hope that this could solve her immediate financial issues settling her nerves a little.


City of Aartakos
Planet VII
Bahromah Solar System, Domain

Pareh was making small talk with various guests at the grand reception in the ballroom. He hated his own palace being overrun like this. If everything had gone to plan it would have been over months ago. However, with "her" on the loose they had to delay the plans. Typical of his luck that this was the last opportunity to enact the plan and also his turn to host the governor conference. A year ago when he put the plan into action he never thought he'd be arranging an orbital strike against his own palace. However, he'd come round to thinking it would be better this way. It would deflect any suspicion away from him. After all, who would think he'd have his own palace attacked like that?

He wandered around sipping on his champagne engaging with his guests. Each regional governor was expected to host one of these conferences every other year. As the planet was divided into ten there was approximately one every two standard months. His was the last for this year and the last forever if the Governor-Supreme made the announcement they'd all been expecting. Meeting like this they presented too big a target to the various Matari groups. Whilst it was a tradition, it could be done over holo-conferencing with a lot less risk.

Azhdan came up close and whispered in his ear.

"Sir, I just received a priority message. Our agent has visual on the girl but there is an issue. She is located on a secure deck of a Matari station in Caldari space. They said they could do an extraction of both her and her son but it will take time to plan and execute. The other option can be implemented immediately on your command."

Pareh stroked his chin. He had wanted proper revenge for her betrayal. A simple death was not what he wanted for her. Something slow and painful, of course after being forced to watch her own son suffer a similar fate first. However, time was almost out and if she was alive when the plan was executed tomorrow he'd be at risk.

"Send the message. Terminate her immediately."

To be continued....


  1. Drackarn, I hope you had as much fun writing this as i had in the reading of it. Thank you for your creativity.

  2. Very glad to see the Friday Fiction back :) I've been re-reading your previous stories as I enjoy them very much. You have a flair for weaving different story threads together. I'm looking forward to the next episode.

  3. Excellent story as usual. So glad you are writing these again.