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

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

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

21 Apr 2012

An Angel in Hell - Part1



'You just got to love the Syndicate' Aluvetti thought to himself as he reclined in the gel-cushion bench inside his recessed booth at the back of the nightclub. His gaze drifted across the people writhing and cavorting on the dance-floor, enraptured by the immersi-sonic system of this well visited establishment. His own body tingled with the afterglow of the sensations caused by frequencies expertly amplified and tuned to evoke both physical and psychological reactions. A smile tugged at the corners of his lips.

It had been some time since he last visited Poitot. A fact he regretted. To him, there existed nothing better than the mixture of Gallente hedonism and Caldari business-sense which characterized this region of space. The full potential of this combination achieved by a lack of regulations and CONCORD interference.

He couldn't care less about the supposed spiritual depth of the Intaki people. They offered deals available nowhere else, and pleasures illegal even in the Gallente Federation. If trading wasn't second nature to him, the sensory distractions would be enticing enough to forget that he was here for business. His eyes followed two passing, youthful Intaki girls wearing more adaptive nano-makeup than clothing, but then his awareness latched on to the one individual standing out from the party crowd and club habitu├ęs.

The craggy-faced man weaved through the assorted revelers with his deep-set eyes intently focused on piercing the dark recesses of the establishment. His functional, loose-fitting robes looked Amarr, and were definitely setting him apart from the spectacular outfits most other people here wore. Aluvetti nodded to himself slowly. That must be the man he expected.

The contacts of that unsettling Gallente woman had seeded rumours throughout the surrounding systems for days now. It had only been a matter of time until someone followed up on them.
The Caldari trader suppressed a momentary shudder when his thoughts turned to the Awakend Industries capsuleer who had hired him for this job. He dispelled the thought and raised his cocktail glass in a subtle gesture to catch the attention of the other man, when the narrow-featured visage turned his way. With a nod the Amarrian acknowledged and approached the booth tucked away in the back of the club.

***

Shisei's mind resurged from the instant trance he had conditioned himself to fall into whenever his ship shot through a gate. For many capsuleers gate-jumps were disorienting. Even after years of experience, the sensations transmitted to the nervous system as a result of the staggering forces catapulting a ship across many lightyears of space, affected a pilot. Many veterans of the spacelanes found their own way to deal with it. For Shisei it was meditative conditioning as taught by Achura tradition.

Immediately after landing, he focused his awareness on the local system's sensor broadcast. He did not find a record of his ship's beacon. Satisfied he concluded that Sandrielle's operatives had successfully bribed the local gate operators to omit his jump record. The absence of CONCORD control from this out-of-the way system, operated by loose collectives, made such subversion a question of money alone. Shisei's body twisted subtly in his pod with residual movement as he turned the massive bulk of his Orca into alignment to the station in orbit with Poitot's fifth planet. Then he willed his ship into warp speed.

'Are you sure it is the people we expect?' he inquired on their encrypted fluid-router channel.

'Aluvetti gave an affirmative signal.' Sandrielle's disembodied voice answered back 'Also, my contact has told me that an Anathema class Amarr vessel has docked, using the registration of a defunct corporation.'

'Are we cleared to dock close enough to them?' Shisei checked further.

'It is all arranged.' The Gallente woman replied.

***

'I know you have a past with Awakened Industries.' the nameless Amarrian revealed with an earnest expression that made his pale face look even more like a corpse's visage. 'How can I trust you?'

Aluvetti scoffed and set down his cocktail glass. 'I sure do. They kidnapped and tortured me.' he leaned forward and stared into the other man's eyes through the stroboscopic flashes of the club's lighting. 'They cost me my commission in Amarr space.'

He returned to his reclining position. 'Believe me, I have no reason to like them.'

A mirthful smile appeared on his face 'Besides, there's only one thing I really care about, and that's striking a deal.' He rested his palm on the data-storage spindle that lay on the table in front of him. 'So do you want to make this deal or not.'

A smirk appeared on the emaciated features of the Amarrian. 'You have made sure it is authentic?'

'Directly from a Republic-commissioned black-project of Eifyr&Co.' Aluvetti assured him. 'If you don't believe me you can verify it.'

The other man pulled a portable neocom from the folds of his loose robe. The display illuminated his sharp features while he ran his checks on the storage unit. 'It looks genuine.' he concluded curtly and turned his dark-eyed gaze back at Aluvetti.

'What?' the Caldari trader inquired after a few wordless seconds only filled by the reverberations of the immersive sound. 'I have no idea what this actually is or what to do with it. All I know is, you want it, and that is all I need to know.'

A slow nod was the Amarrian's response, and then he entered numbers into his portable device. 'The funds you requested have been transferred.' He paused and held Aluvetti's gaze again 'Along with a bonus to ensure your continued silence about our dealings.' The Amarrian got up while Aluvetti checked the fund transfer on his own neocom and slid the storage unit across the table.

'Be sure to never forget that part of the agreement' the robed man added.

Aluvetti looked up at him and smiled disarmingly 'I never forget something that people pay me for.'

***

Inside the station's vast docking bay Shisei maneuvered the bulk of his craft through the cavernous tunnels toward his assigned position. As promised, he could see the small covert ops craft of Amarr design floating above a docking ring right below the one assigned to him. Ignoring proximity alerts and overriding repelling force-fields he dropped the full mass of his ship into the chasm of the main docking well.

The powerful levitation field of the docking ring slowed his descent, but not enough to prevent an impact strong enough to justify the next action. With a mental signal Shisei unlocked one of the cargo bays and sent a cascade of unrefined ore raining down on the small Amarr vessel.

'Registration MOD775, what is your problem?!' came the irate inquiry of the local dock operator.

'My excuses for this mishap' Shisei answered and noted that the forged beacon of his ship had transmitted properly 'My proximity sensors got damaged in a brush with pirates coming in.' he sent a faked damage report across the link with a quick command.

'Please let the captain of that ship know that I will compensate him for any inconvenience. The same goes for any cleanup costs you will have.'

'Allright.' came the response 'Just make sure you get your ship properly repaired before you create more problems.'

'Certainly.' Shisei replied calmly.

In the meantime, nanites embedded within the dumped ore, began to integrate particles of the spilled metals into the hull of the Anathema below. Not enough to change the composition of the ship's outer layer in a conspicuous way, but sufficient for a vessel with finely tuned metallurgical sensors to spot the difference.

Sensors like those available on an Orca.

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