This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

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: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

4 Nov 2011

A Trader's Woes - Part 2

When I woke up I was on another ship. I felt the slight vibration of engines before I could even see straight, so we were obviously moving. When I came to, I could see from the surroundings that it must be a Caldari vessel, so I knew it wasn't the Orca. The typical gray metal and glass was unmistakable. I was sitting, stripped down to my briefs, and noticed right away that my hands were bound behind my back with some sort of compound rope that only became tighter when I struggled against it. My legs were also bound to the chair with the same stuff. I also noticed a woman sitting across from me at the end of a large smoky-gray transparent table.

It wasn't the Amarr girl from before, but a taller more mature looking one with long black hair. Not a bad one. Oval face, tan skin, full lips. When she looked at me over some datapad she was reading from, however, her intense dark eyes seemed like they were burning through me.

'Where am I and who are you?' I ask her. I am not even really scared at that moment, just confused. My throat hurts like I have a severe case of Jita fever, though. Things slowly start coming back to me when this woman gets up and walks over to me. Great body, but something about her gives me a feeling like a deal that is too good to be true.

'Mikkai Aluvetti, subcontractor tradesman for Kaalakioota. That is your identity?' she half states, half asks with an accent that tells me what I had already suspected: She's Gallente. Right there I begin to feel quite a bit worried about what I've gotten myself into.

'Are you Federal Intelligence or something?' I wonder at her while she sits down on the surface of the table just in front of me. Normally I wouldn't mind a woman of such looks being that close, but I am bound and, like I said, there's something about her that makes me feel definitely uncomfortable.

She only laughs as a response, and then she levels that penetrating gaze at me. 'There's something I wanted to demonstrate to you.' she stands, and I get the feeling it wont be a marketing presentation. 'The Intaki people have long preserved ancient medical knowledge of the pre-technological age.' she begins to flex her fingers in some really disconcerting way and I'm getting a really bad feeling about this. 'They knew about the connections in our nervous systems with certain organs. For example there's a nerve strand here.' and with that she pinches me at the top of my left pectoral muscle and inside my armpit. I tell you, the pain that shot through my chest was like nothing I ever felt. My heart did one heavy thump in my chest. I felt my ribcage shake with it, and then blackness took over my vision.

It took only a few seconds or so, but those were the longest seconds in my life. 'If it is blocked, then the heart stops beating. Fascinating isn't it?' she adds with an unsettling tone almost like amusement when my senses return.

I still feel like I am dying, and I'm breaking out in sweat, but I also reckon there can be a deal made here. 'What do you want?' I ask her half consciously.

She looks at me with those black eyes and nods. 'You are a quick one tradesman Aluvetti. You tried making some ISK with a scam while there was a vicious firefight going on around you. Not a very nice thing to do, but crafty and resourceful. Fortunately for all involved parties besides you, we managed to jam your uplink with the ECM on this ship here.' She cracks the joints of her fingers and then continues. 'So will you tell me how you sold out my companion to the Amarr? Or do I have to demonstrate some more functions of your nervous system?' she threatens.

Now I feel like someone is trying to bill me for something I didn't order. 'What are you talking about?' I ask her 'The dead girl? No way! That was the sweetest deal I ever saw. The damn Amarr messed it up for me.' I can tell you I very sincerely hoped she would believe me. I didn't want my heart stopped or feel that pain again.

She just nods and simply says 'I really believe you.' then she puts two fingers each on both sides of by sternum and presses hard. Again pain shoots through my body and I gasp for air, but it doesn't help. I feel panic like never before.

Oh man is this drink already finished, well there's more in the bottle, right?

'See, these immobilize the intercostal muscles. That means you can't expand and collapse your ribcage anymore. Makes it hard to breathe doesn't it?' she calmly explains while I struggle like a fish on dry land and try to hold on to consciousness.

When she finally took her hands off me, that first breath of processed air felt like closing a deal with a billion ISK profit. 'Why do you keep torturing me, you said you believed me?!' I scream at her as soon as I am halfway capable to do so.

'You do not understand tradesman, this is not torture, this is an educational session.' She pulls up a chair, sits, and looks into my eyes. 'You need to be aware of the consequences of betrayal.' she runs a finger along my exposed right arm and I am trembling with fear at what she would do next. She puts pressure on some point close to my elbow and all the muscles of my upper arm contract in a way I never thought possible.

'You see, there are pressure points that can make your muscles tense up so much, that they will eventually snap. Or they could break your joints with their excessive force.' she tells me as she releases me again. My bicep is trembling uncontrollably. 'You now understand that you could suffer a very painful and slow death at my hands, don't you?' she adds to it.

I just nod and hope that this will satisfy her. When she looks at me in an urging way, I tell her that I certainly do.

'Very good.' she says with that annoyingly smooth Gallente accent. 'If we are to do business with each other, it is very important that both of us understand the underlying conditions.' she walks around me and releases the self-tightening compound ropes that have kept me bound to the chair. I don't even think of running. All I want to do is try to work the cramps and the pain out of my body while she gets that datapad she was looking at earlier.

'You are still interested in closing the deal my companion has offered on our behalf I assume?' she says when she returns to sit again.

Now she's talking my language. I almost forget all the pain and anxiety right then and there. All I can do is nod eagerly.

'We will trade directly with you, circumventing all broker's fees for both parties.' she tells me like I didn't know how that works 'You are not to disclose any information about your sources. We will provide flight recorder data that confirms you found this load adrift and claimed it according to salvaging rights granted by the Yulai Convention.' That, I had to admit, was a smart move. 'You have seen that there is some inconvenience for us doing business in this region. You have also just been demonstrated what the consequences would be if you broke our agreement. I guess I can rely on you acting accordingly?'

I tell her that she can be as sure as the fact that the stock market will reopen for trade tomorrow.

Ah, damn I got a real buzz going on now. That stuff is good.

Well, that's about all of the story. We closed the deal after agreeing on some clauses, and they gave me a shuttle to fly back to my trade office. Why I tell you all this despite the warnings? Well, the stuff they have on offer is way more expensive than what I can afford right now. You have been my best business partner throughout many years and you can keep a secret, I know that. Thing is I need the funds to take the stuff off of them, and I know you have them. Here take a look at the itinerary. We will make three times the buy value if we sell this to the right manufacturers. I cut you in with fifty. You're in, right?

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff, can't wait for the next installment where the "business partner" betrays him to the Gallente woman. Guess that would be the end for that trader? ;-)