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Pod and Planet Fiction ENTRY (8000 Suns)

Author
Thes Redav
State Protectorate
Caldari State
#1 - 2013-11-08 16:06:49 UTC
Here is my entry for the YC115 Contest (8000 Suns Category)

Thanks for reading,
Thes


“Blind Spot”
by Thes Redav



The elongated fuselages of the Rifter glided from the dock like a pair of jettisoned coffins, vacant and ready for their would-be inhabitants. Behind them, in the frigate’s cockpit, the dull orange light of the com panel was already pulsing—it hadn’t taken long. Fingers fumbled for the right switch to open a channel, then found the controls for thrust instead, driving the Rifter further from the old Republic station. Outside the starboard window, the light-limned hexagon was already receding into the shadow of the seventh moon of Brin VI, itself nothing more than an imp of the gas giant looming nearby. There was a boy, the pilot recalled, who once named that planet “Pearl”. How long ago had that been? Too long for the boy to still exist. He’d long since grown up, never intending to return to Brin.

The dull orange light throbbed with desperation. He knew who it was on the other end, what words would follow if he opened the channel.

Hesitant fingers flipped open the com. The familiar voice broke through.

“Urac, don’t do this.”

Iramé . His last friend. The only good thing to come out of this convicted stretch of space. The only one he could trust.

“You lied.”

“I had to,” the voice pleaded.

Urac ignored it, aligning the Rifter toward Brin VIII and the invisible asteroid field strung out before it.

“Please, Urac. They’re like gods. You can’t kill a god.”

To his left, the billion lights of the Republic Justice Department outpost glinted like stars against the nacre skin of the gas giant beyond. Urac thought of two lights that would not be on and activated the warp drive.

“I’m begging you. Please don’t—”

The voice cut off as vacuum depletion commenced. The Rifter shuddered once, then lurched forward a kilometer, then two, then eighty, then a thousand, and so on. Urac closed his eyes, and Brin VI blurred away.

###

Lieutenant Urac Lefor checked his reflection in the polished nickel door and straightened his uniform before knocking. The soft hiss of escaping air as the door slid open was the only sound to emanate from the office within. There were no holo feeds buzzing, no antique clocks ticking on the walls, as senior officers were wont to collect. Much like himself, Major Tayoshi’s office was austere and minimalistic. Only a single sheet of paper cluttered his desk, a print out with the Caldari Navy seal stamped atop it. The major glanced up from the memo to Urac.

“Have a seat, lieutenant.”

“With your permission, I prefer to stand, sir.”

“As you will.” Tayoshi snatched up the piece of paper. “I have some bad news, lieutenant. Yesterday, a Kaalakiota-owned ore retriever operating in the Brin system was engaged and destroyed by an enemy ship. All aboard were killed, including your parents. I’m sorry for your loss.”

The major delivered his news with such succinct, impersonal blandness, that Urac automatically disbelieved him. Hi boy, your folks are dead. It was the kind of statement that preceded a bad joke. “Permission to read the report, sir?”

Tayoshi handed him the print out and Urac read the words himself. There was little elaboration contained within the two short paragraphs, only the coordinates of the wreckage and a statement that all of the cargo onboard was accounted for.

“I have my records. That is your official copy.”

“Oh.”

“You will be granted four days leave, plus travel time, to settle any personal affairs. Your squad marshal will present you with all necessary papers.”

“Yes, sir.” Urac knew that was his dismissal. “If I may ask, sir, is there any attempt being made to apprehend the responsible party?”

“The perpetrator has likely moved on to another system by now. Chasing after him would only waste resources at a time when the fleet is already spread too thin.”

“So the State will do nothing?”

The major lifted his clean-shaven chin in warning, no-nonsense eyes narrowing on Urac. “This is a corporate matter. Kaalakiota will handle it from here.”

“Yes, sir. I’m sorry, it’s just...may I at least know who was responsible?”

“That information is classified.”

“What? I mean...why? Sir. Why classify civilian casualties?”

“That’s classified, lieutenant.” And the major’s eyes added, “Minmatar”.

“Yes, sir,” Urac replied evenly.

“Rest assured, this has nothing to do with the State, nor is there anything the Caldari Navy, Kaalakiota Corporation, or anyone else can do about it. Now, I’ve said all I will say on this matter. Dismissed.”

###

Thes Redav
State Protectorate
Caldari State
#2 - 2013-11-08 16:11:48 UTC
The warp tunnel collapsed, setting him on the edge of the asteroid belt. A quick glance at the overview panel showed that he was alone—for now, at least. Visual scan confirmed the place where the incident happened; a discolored crater in the nearest asteroid matched the coordinates of the wreck, or close enough. The cleanup had been thorough; the scanner turned up only trace bits of debris.

Why didn’t they just stay? Life on Matar wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t so bad either, at least not within the scope of a four-year-old’s definition of “bad”. No doubt there were hardships faced by his parents that he couldn’t comprehend, yet any place, any option, would have been better than Brin. To end up here, in the armpit of the galaxy, hauling augumene so your body could deteriorate before you reached sixty standard years was a fate worse than poverty. What good did money do the dead?

Urac flipped the directional scanner to 360 degrees at quarter range. The Udorian had promised that he wouldn’t have to search for his foe, but then she’d promised a lot of things. In any case, it never hurt to be aware of what was out there, especially when dealing with the Amarr. He was ready for the trap, if that’s what this turned out to be, the Rifter aligned to the coordinates of a nearby safespot. But he didn’t expect it. Not after what she gave him. Besides, running from this fight was never part of his plan.

“Clear screen,” he ordered, before remembering what ship he was in. With a curse he dropped his eyes to the instrumental panel and searched for the overlay switch. It took half a minute to find it. Hemorrhage seconds like that during combat and he’d be dead. Why couldn’t the Udorian have provided a Caldari frigate like the ones he’d spent the last five years training in? Unless she never really expected Urac to stand a chance?

You can’t kill a god.

“Iramé. Will you be the one who buries me?”

###

Iramé Na Toyashowa was waiting outside the airlock when Urac passed through barometric acclimation. His friend looked the same as he had five years ago; same shoulder-length hair, same malnourished face, same stoic grin that was his attempt at a smile. He was of a height with Urac, but his perfect posture made him seem taller.

“Welcome home,” Iramé said, leaning in to hug him. The unfamiliarity of years passed made the gesture awkward. “I was worried when I got your message. It’s a warzone out there.”

“I don’t care about those vigilantes and their petty skirmishes.”

“You should. It’s easy to forget, living in hi-sec, what it’s like out here.”

“I haven’t forgotten.”

They walked together across the cargo deck to a waiting transport.

“I’m sure you’ll want to board a shuttle to the Kaalakiota station as soon as possible, so I had you pre-cleared with security.”

“Thanks,” Urac said. He hadn’t even thought about the procedural anathema he was facing. “Aren’t you and I going to talk first?”

“Yes. In my office.”

Iramé’s office wasn’t far, and there were sandwiches waiting for them when they arrived. They ate without saying much, other than the expected questions: how was the journey, how much leave were you given, what plans do you have for the funeral?

“Head of security,” Urac said, admiring Iramé’s Republic uniform.

“Assistant head of security,” Iramé corrected him. “Tiatulf Klortalmarl stills runs the show around here, not a day older than when you last saw him.”

“Amazing what the gene therapists can do nowadays.”

“And you?”

Urac hesitated. “It’s Lieutenant Lefor, now.”

“Congratulations.” Iramé’s smile was genuine, and Urac didn’t spoil it for him by mentioning that he’d earned that rank twice over, or that any Caldari pilot with his record would have made captain long ago. “That calls for something better than sandwiches.” Iramé unlocked a drawer in the faux-wood chiffonier behind his desk and pulled out a bottle of Gallentean vodka. “All the way from Caille.”

“I thought you didn’t drink?”

“I won’t. I bought it for you.”

The vodka was excellent, of course, though Urac couldn’t appreciate its smoothness this hour, no more than he could offer any critique to the anxious posture of his friend beyond a paltry, “It’s good.”

“Good,” Iramé echoed him, analyzing Urac with those Intaki eyes. “You know, I’ll never understand why you chose them over my people.”

Urac mulled over the words, eyes in his vodka. “They’re like us, in many ways. They had to fight for their independence.”

“Yet they ally themselves with an empire built upon the back of slaves.”

“They despise us, no doubt,” Urac conceded, “but I’d rather face open prejudice than the patronizing double-speak of the Federation. At least with the Caldari I know where I stand. Besides, there’s always a chance their minds will change. They are a people built on merit, and if they see what my people can do, if we can prove ourselves, perhaps just maybe we’ll have stripped the Amarr of another ally.”

“Wishful thinking. Another glass?”

“Maybe later.”

Iramé set the bottle aside. “Urac, I know why you stopped here first instead of traveling straight to Kaalakiota.”

“Then don’t me make me ask.”

“There are...limitations...on our jurisdiction.”

“I know the Caldari Navy doesn’t want to get involved, but this is Republic space.”

“Technically, we fall under the sovereignty of the Empire now.”

“Until Jamyl Sarum sends her fleet to destroy this station and every Minmatar within it, this is Republic space and you know it.”

“Even so, my hands are tied.”


Thes Redav
State Protectorate
Caldari State
#3 - 2013-11-08 16:15:20 UTC
Iramé fell silent then. Urac knew better than try and outwait an Intaki.

“Please. I’m asking you as a friend.”

“Knowing won’t change anything.”

“Damn it, Iramé. If it was the Amarr let me know.”

“It wasn’t the Amarr.”

“Then who? The Caldari? Another mining corp? Don’t give me a line about it being pirates. I already know all the ore was found intact.”

“It was an accident.”

“An accident?”

“It appears that way, at least. Either someone onboard drove the retriever directly into that asteroid, or the ship suffered a disastrous malfunction.”

“That sounds more like sabotage than an accident. And why would Caldari Navy go through the trouble to classify a corporate incident? I was told the Kaalakiota hauler was engaged by an enemy ship.”

“I’m sorry I don’t have any answers that will satisfy you. We’re looking into the data we’ve collected so far, but it doesn’t seem to amount to anything more than scrap metal. As to what the State publicizes, I’m sure they have their reasons.”

For a brief moment, Iramé’s eyes seemed to glint metallically, a byproduct of the special lenses he wore to overcome childhood blindness. Urac recognized the mien of the Ida state, a posture of complete contemplation.

Always contemplating, never acting, the Intaki.

Urac stood up. “I think I’ll have that drink now.”

Iramé titled his angular face in confusion. “Will you take the bottle?”

“Keep it for the next guy. I think I’ll find something more to my liking elsewhere,” he said, and started back toward the docks.

###

The Rifter lurked through the asteroid belt at a quarter thrust, a blip of life in an otherwise empty quadrant of the system. Or so Urac hoped. If an Amarrian patrol spotted him they’d assume him a spy for the Republic and open fire. He didn’t want trouble. He just wanted a single ship, the one that should have been here.

“Damn you, where are you hiding?” Urac checked the directional scanner again. Overlay told him nothing. Rocks and nothing—that’s all that was left around him. Had the bastard fled? Or did the Udorian make up the whole thing? “If this is all a set up….”

Thoughts of treachery dwindled in the glinting conclusion of a sub-vacuum warp tunnel. A hundred kilometers out from him the ship settled, instantly identified by the ship’s CPU and fed to his display in the overview. The ship was an Eris.

Urac sat straight in the cockpit and drew a deep breath. Involuntarily he readied the targeting overlay, checked that his armor repair system was online, and loaded phased plasma ammo into the autocannons.

Ahead of him, the destroyer sat unmoving in the asteroid field.

Uncertainty struck Urac in a sudden jolt. Did it not see him? Could it really be at zero thrust? No, he wasn’t so stupid as to believe that. What was it the Udorian said about the device? What was the minimum range? He glanced at the instrument panel, to the switch for the “little surprise” he was carrying. It had to be close, he knew that.

“Clear screen,” he ordered out of habit and mashed the button at the same time. The overlay dropped off his window and transferred to a three-dimensional field display within the cockpit. The Rifter was at full thrust now, sixty kilometers out and closing fast.

He crossed under fifty kilometers. The Eris wasn’t moving, wasn’t targeting him, wasn’t doing anything. It was going to run, he could sense it. Forty-five kilometers and closing, and still the destroyer sat there. The Rifter raced to forty kilometers, then thirty, then twenty. Red, flashing hash marks enclosed the Eris on his overview as targeting systems went active. Urac was ready to chance a shot outside his range against the non-moving target when suddenly the Eris came to life.

With unmatchable speed, it dove toward the nearest asteroid, drawing a transversal that rendered his autocannons impotent. Urac skewed the Rifter at a line tangent to his enemy’s trajectory, and took a pot shot. White lines of molten sabot traced wide of their target. Sickening qualms slithered beneath Urac’s resolve as he realized he couldn’t close the distance needed to activate the Udorian’s weapon. All the while the black wing danced around him laughingly, impossibly, twirling about his flank in ways that defied the mechanics of navigation. Reason said no pilot could maneuver a ship like that with such unerring accuracy, or manage a micro-warp drive on its limited powergrid with such efficiency. But then, he wasn’t facing a pilot. With dread certainty, Urac realized the Udorian had told him the truth.

###
Thes Redav
State Protectorate
Caldari State
#4 - 2013-11-08 16:19:30 UTC
On the window-screens around the bar, views outside the station simulated openness, tricking the gloomy patrons into believing they weren’t really trapped inside some steel coffin in the middle of a dismal system at the edge of civilized space. Urac stared at the place where there were no stars, into the black of the nameless moon he’d befriended as a boy, and lifted the glass to his lips, drinking the distillate straight.

Kaalakiota Corporation. What a ******* waste, he thought, and slid their measly insurance payout under his glass to use as a coaster.

“I’ll buy your next drink, unless you would prefer to drink alone?”

It took Urac a moment to realize that the woman speaking was in fact speaking to him. It took half as long to realize what kind of woman it was speaking.

“I’m in no mood for whatever it is you’re trying to sale, Khanid.”

“I’m Udorian, actually, and I wouldn’t be trying to sell it if I didn’t already know you wanted it, Lieutenant Lefor of the Caldari Navy.”

“Should I let security know there’s a hacker in the station?”

“I’m no hacker,” the yellow-eyed Amarr said as she sat across from Urac. “I’m a collector.”

“Lady, I’m not going to ask you again.”

“Dolbani Maru,” she said, and there was no doubting she was beautiful. The kind of pristine, disgusting beauty you didn’t find amongst Urac’s lash-scarred ancestors. “And don’t give me that look. My people were made slaves long before yours. We’ve just learned to handle the Empire from within. Cooperation can be profitable.”

“It’s not cooperation if you don’t have a choice.”

“As your parents had when they moved to this station?”

The woman was just out of reach, else Urac might have throttled that smirk right off her porcelain face.

“Pity the higher-ups in the State declined to share the truth of what happened out there,” the Udorian said quickly, sensing his temper. “If you knew the reason they didn’t react to the assault, you might be more inclined to hear what I have to say.”

“What do you know about it?”

“To start, I know that when the Kaalakiota security force went to retrieve the wreckage, they encountered the assailant. The perpetrator identified himself and admitted what he’d done, yet was allowed to escape. When Tiatulf Klortalmarl and your Intaki friend showed up, the Caldari corporation instructed them the matter was closed.”

“I’m supposed to believe Kaalakiota would turn a blind eye to something like this? Sorry, but I lived in this corporate shithole for thirteen years, and if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that Kaalakiota doesn’t like to lose money, be it salaries or sabotage.”

“And supposing their hands were tied?”

Urac was quickly getting tired of that phrase. “By what?”

“By someone higher up in the political structure, for instance. There are many powerful agents within a mega-corporation like that, and they all intermingle directly with the State.” Suddenly she leaned forward. “I know for a fact that the person responsible has ties to such people, within Kaalakiota and even the Caldari Navy itself.”

“Who?”

“A capsuleer, of course.”

Urac’s voice lowered involuntarily. “A capsuleer did this? Why?”

“If you have to ask that, you don’t know much about capsuleers. In any case, this one used to be part of the 24th Imperial Crusade before he turned on his brothers and went rogue. Now he terrorizes the remote systems of Metropolis in a heavily modulated Eris, doing the dirty work of both Kaalakiota and the State. But he’s a loose gun, unreliable and dangerous. He’ll turn on his own if the mood strikes him, confident that his security status with the powers that be will rescue him of consequence.”

“How do you know all this?”

“Because I was once one of his agents, back before he betrayed me.”

Urac weighed the liquor left in his glass, setting it gently to the table. “They said it was classified. Why lie to me? Why not hunt the bastard down and be rid of him?”

“Two unrelated questions. I would venture to guess the answer to both is that he’s a capsuleer. Maybe someone values your life as much as they value their own.”

“He’s a man—or was, once. If he breathes, he can be killed.”

“Not by you.”

“I’ll take my own damned ship out there and determine that.”

“You don’t have a ship, you have a shuttle. In fact, I believe you’re due back with the fleet in a few days. That doesn’t leave much time to procure the necessary licenses to purchase one and outfit it with sub-standard armaments off the black market, provided you have an enormous store of wealth secreted away somewhere.” Dolbani grinned, watching her words deflate Urac’s resolve.

“Why tell me all this? You expect some sort of payment for this information?”
Thes Redav
State Protectorate
Caldari State
#5 - 2013-11-08 16:21:41 UTC
Dolbani’s eyes drifted to one of the window-screens, and the stars projected onto it. “You grew up here?” she asked.

“I grew up a lot of places. I ended up here.”

“But you escaped. Records indicate you scored high enough on your sim-tests for the State to overlook certain prejudices and admit you to their flight school. Since then, you’ve made quite the name for yourself in the fleet. A Minmatar-born lieutenant in the Caldari Navy, so few there are. You must be quite a pilot.”

“I’m good enough.”

“You’re better than good. At least I’m counting on it. I hate to see my investments wasted.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about vengeance. I could enable you to have it.”

“You have a ship?”

“Much more than a ship, lieutenant. I have the coordinates of the attack, docking permits, military grade weaponry—and most important, a plan.”

“Why help me? For all I know you could be working for this capsuleer.”

“A logical concern, but logic seldom resolves anything. It’s desire that moves us. Desire for a better life brought your parents out here, to this place so far from Matar.” The Udorian leaned closer. “Now the same desire that brought you here burns inside me.”

Urac gauged the intent of those yellow eyes. Whatever enmity squirmed within her heart, the hate belonged solely to this capsuleer. “What chance have I got?”

“As I said earlier, I’m a collector, one who has done well for herself. I poured a large chunk of that fortune into locating and acquiring a very special piece of equipment. In the hands of the right pilot, I believe it has a shot at undoing this capsuleer.”

Urac risked a glance around. The other patrons were ignoring them—which meant nothing, really. A man needn’t be under surveillance to end up snared in a slaver’s trap. “If I were to agree—”

“Your agreement was never a question. Desire is the force that moves the universe, lieutenant. I’m offering you what you want, but I won’t offer it twice.”

“If you’d just tell me what it is you have planned—”

“Not here. When we get back to the Republic station I’ll show you.” She stood up and motioned for Urac to follow. “Come, Lieutenant. There’s much to discuss, and a limited window in which to act.”

For Urac, there really was no choice.

###

They were less than ten kilometers apart but it might as well have been ten thousand. The autocannons chased the Eris worthlessly, all while its missiles pounded through the Rifter’s shield and chewed away at armor faster than it could be repaired. Urac had no choice but to cut the afterburner, and even then it was only a matter of moments before there was nothing left of the capacitor. The opportunity for escape had passed, his warp drive disrupted by the capsuleer almost at once.

A capsuleer. A God, Iramé proclaimed. Urac wasn’t sure where they came from, or how they were made, or even why they were made. The only thing he knew, the only truth tangible, was that when you encountered a capsuleer, you ran.

Or you died, as he was about to. Iramé had tried to save him, had broken their friendship to prevent this, but there was never any chance of deterring Urac. His only hope now lie in the black box welded to the bottom of the Rifter. If he could get close enough to activate the Udorian’s device, he might stand a chance.

But closing with the capsuleer meant putting himself in range of the Eris’ blasters. So far the capsuleer seemed content to play with him, loosing just enough missile volleys to keep his armor in the red, but how much longer would that last? Get within five kilometers—the minimum distance to activate the device—and Urac’s Rifter would melt.

As if reading this fear, his enemy altered orbital range and began to close in. Urac felt the Rifter lurch to a standstill under the destroyer’s webifiers. The game was nearly over. It was only a question of when the capsuleer activated his blasters….

For whatever reason, he didn’t.

At the perigee of their death dance, Urac broke trajectory, turning inward on the interdictor. Before the Eris could alter course, he brought the Rifter within the needed five-kilometer range, reached for the instrumental panel, and activated the device.
Thes Redav
State Protectorate
Caldari State
#6 - 2013-11-08 16:23:50 UTC
About every ship piloted by a capsuleer, there exists multiple camera drones whose sole purpose is to provide stereoscopic visualization for the pod-based pilot, providing him or her with a realistic exterior field display, as well as the necessary scopes and overlays needed for navigation. These camera drones are tiny and fast-moving, and much too small to target individually. The electromagnetic field that secures them in place can’t be disrupted short of a mass interscission event, nor can they be hacked, remotely re-programmed, or otherwise tricked into malfunctioning.

“A capsuleer has no eyes,” the Udorian had told him, “except what his ship sees.”

So when Urac activated his black market weapon—an EM pulse similar to the kind utilized by private security firms, but on a much larger scale——and fried the camera drones circling around him, the capsuleer effectively saw nothing.

You cannot kill a god, Iramé. But you can blind one.

Now the Eris came to a stop. Urac sucked in a breath and held it.

“It worked,” he said, letting go the held breath. “It really worked...”

Shards of plasma crisscrossed the space before him. The blasters tore through the remaining armor and punctured the Rifter’s left wing, sending smoke into the cockpit. Somehow the Eris was behind him now. Urac coughed helplessly, cutting the engine before his hull ripped apart. The Rifter shuddered, then pitched at an angle of its own making, lilting slowly toward the next-closest celestial body.

The orange light of his com lit up blinked to life.

Urac ignored it. Outside his cockpit window he could see the Eris, a dark wing hovering not two kilometers above him. Still the com blinked.

He flipped it open, and the voice of a man filled his cockpit.

“Who are you?”

“Lieutenant Urac Lefor, of the Caldari Navy. My parents were on that ore boat.”

“Did you really think that ‘thing’ you’re carrying would have any effect on me? Every pod pilot worth his salt keeps a hold full of camera drones. Is this a joke?”

So the Udorian had tricked him. Or else she herself didn’t know. Either way, it didn’t matter now. He was dead. “Go ahead then, you bastard. Kill me like you did my parents. I’m sick of your gloating.”

The Eris began to move around him, circling out to a five kilometer orbit.

“Oh, the bathos of vengeance, boy. The hollow disappointment when your heart quivers and your member retracts, having thrust so virulently into revenge.”

The com clicked off. His eyes widened in dread anticipation. A breath...

Out of the stars it unfurled, a grey, volant hull, cruiser-sized, its tumblehome bow pointed directly at the Eris.

Urac stared through a dream, fire and light dancing across his constricted vision. Hybrid turrets flashed to life and were answered by a hail of missiles. The interdictor’s arsenal was no match. The capsuleer fired his thrusters, and made a mad dash for life.

The ballet rose above him, a small fish dogged by one much larger. No matter which way the Eris turned, the cruiser matched his maneuvers. Assault missiles—unerring fingers of death—bent around the fatal sashaying, reducing the capsuleer’s ship to a smoking hull in heartbeats. There was a flash of light, followed by the glint of a metal capsule, stridently attempting to escape. And failing.

Urac drew slow, heavy breaths, watching the cruiser float toward him. It looked like one of the Caracals the Navy sometimes employed, but he knew it to be something much more dangerous. No wonder the Eris was obliterated.

Another capsuleer.


The heavy assault cruiser sat twenty kilometers off his bow, waiting. And him, in his shattered Rifter, breathing. Doing nothing but draw breath.

The cruiser turned away, aligning toward Arnstur. In seconds he was gone, and Urac was left alone to drift.

###
Thes Redav
State Protectorate
Caldari State
#7 - 2013-11-08 16:25:11 UTC
The windows in the med-bay weren’t unlike those in the bar where he met the Udorian, save that one of the star-lit panels flickered with a faulty bulb, shattering the illusion entirely.

“How do you know she won’t come back?” Iramé asked, in his chair beside the bed Urac had spent the last four days in.

“Because,” Urac explained again, “she got what she came for.”

After Iramé told him how Dolbani Maru was recorded leaving the Kaalakiota station aboard a Cerberus registered in her name, not long after Urac himself departed the Republic station in his Rifter, it wasn’t hard to figure out what had happened.

“What will you do with the isk she left you?”

“You mean if there’s any leftover after I pay for this medical treatment?”

“You’re just lucky I found you. Three days drifting in smashed up hull….I didn’t think you were going to make it.”

Neither did Urac. He’d never understand why the capsuleer—the one he was working for—didn’t just kill him in the end. She might as well have, leaving him the way she did. He didn’t understand, but then, he didn’t really understand them, either.

“It’s just incredible,” Iramé went on, repeating the sentiment he’d shared twice already. “To think that she would go through all the trouble of deceiving you like that, just on the off-chance that it would distract the other capsuleer.”

“She gave him what he desired—an easy kill. It’s the thing that blinds us.”

“What?”

“Our desires.”
Kytayn
Kronos TEchnologies
#8 - 2013-11-13 16:25:58 UTC
Nicely done.

Be careful in Pulsar systems, you might get Pod Flu.

(Bio for YouTube reading)

Voluspa Dreamweaver
Caravanserai Consulting
#9 - 2013-11-17 18:33:50 UTC
Good storytelling. Nice one.