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.

26 Jul 2012

A Pirate in Distress - Part 5

Tomoe sat in the meeting room overlooking the outstretched neck leading to the bridge at the bow of her Crane class cargo ship. The panorama window behind her was slightly darkened to filter the cold glare of Kamio's white dwarf sun. Still, the light was enough to force the robed man, who faced her across the light blue transparent conference table, to squint his narrow eyes.

He had the angular copper-tinted features of a typical Ni-Kunni. His shining black hair flowed over his shoulders like a curtain of silk. The man's sweeping eyebrows were drawn together but his thin lipped mouth was quirked into a half-smile. He wore heavy black robes trimmed with shining gold. He wore the sigil of the Ministry of Internal Order – a golden disk held by two stylized pillars and enclosed by a broken circle. He looked young for an Imperial Lictor, but he carried himself with a quiet confidence that disturbed Tomoe.

She had progressed through the usual protocols of courtesy quickly and wanted to get to the point. She had never had the patience for Amarr formalities. He had not made her any offer so far, and the young Caldari woman had become apprehensive. She decided to bring this negotiation – if it could be called that – to an end as soon as possible. She had entertained high hopes, but now she felt perturbed and angry about the interference.

'All I request is an opportunity to question the criminal.' the Amarrian official repeated his wish softly. He spoke Caldari with hardly a trace of an accent. 'I am more than certain, that – judging from your story – your punishment for him will be as fitting as any we could devise.'

'I have captured him.' Tomoe declared resolutely 'He is now property of my corporation, and therefore protected by the regulations of the Caldari Business Tribunal.'

She looked into his half closed eyes. 'I have the right to negotiate a price for my property with any party regardless of affiliation or authority' She wanted to hear an offer. After all, he had been admitted to her ship because he promised to make one.

The Amarrian steepled his fingers and displayed a sad smile. 'Interesting that you mention it.' he purred unsettlingly. 'Because it seems your corporation has lost it's commission with Ishukone and therefore does not fall under the megacorp clause of the Business Tribunal anymore.'

His facial expression matched the smile in expressing how much he pitied her. 'I am afraid all that remains between us is the Yulai Convention, and that gives me the right to apprehend any criminal flagged by CONCORD, even in foreign territory.' he stated. 'I regret to inform you that I neither have to, nor will, offer anything in return for being allowed to question this individual.'

Tomoe felt a cold shiver rippling across her body. 'Your … information … is incorrect.' she stammered in surprise. 'How could he know so much' she inwardly fretted.

The intercom saved her from the awkwardness of the situation 'Executive.' Tharessar's rumbling voice began. 'A warship of the State Protectorate has hailed us and demands that we allow her to dock.'

Tomoe took a deep breath and pursed her lips. 'What is it now?' she thought and felt strangled by the compounding difficulties of the situation.

'Grant them permission. Tell the captain to meet me in my boardroom.' she ordered after regaining her composure.

The Ni-Kunni rose to leave, but Tomoe gestured for him to stay. 'Lictor, why don't you remain seated and assist me with your wisdom in this situation.' she offered humbly with a sweet voice.

'Maybe I can turn this around after all?' she dared to hope inwardly.

The Amarrian smiled, nodded and settled back into his seat.


'How did you get such a high State Protectorate rank?' Alira asked while she watched Kassina Vikkonen check her weapons and armour in the deployment room off the airlock. The platoon of troopers she was going to take with her to the other ship were busy with similar procedures.

'By killing Gallente.' the Caldari woman replied curtly without even looking at Alira.

'Is all that really necessary?' the Sebiestor engineer demanded to know, gesturing at the heavily armed troopers in mottled gray combat armour. Not as heavy as the servo-aided suits used in contemporary planetary warfare, but enough to protect against civilian weapons.

Kassina stopped for a moment from checking her ordnance pockets and looked at Alira with those colourless eyes. 'Hopefully not.' was all she said, and then resumed her routine.

Kassina herself had only taken a sidearm and a number of grenades with her. Her men had armed themselves with combat carbines. Alira was surprised by the hands-on attitude of the Caldari bounty-hunter. Generally a capsuleer would send a spokesperson to act on their behalf. Leaving the ship herself seemed an unnecessary risk, even here in a high security system.

Soon the docking operation was finished, and the Cerberus assault cruiser of Kassina Vikkonen was joined with the cargo ship, right next to an Amarrian Magnate class frigate which obviously had arrived before them. The Deteis woman nodded at her platoon and her sergeant saluted briskly, then they stepped through the airlock as it opened. Alira followed the troopers, uncertain about what they would face on the other side.

To her surprise, they were greeted by a heavily muscled and tall Brutor tribesman who introduced himself as Tharessar. The two men with him were Caldari though. They all wore light gray corporate uniforms set off with dark blue. None of them carried weapons, but the bulky Minmatar looked unimpressed, as if he could take on Kassina's whole platoon bare handed. After Kassina presented her official certification, she and her troopers were guided wordlessly through the interiour of the ship. Alira followed until they eventually arrived in the business quarters of the cargo vessel..

All Caldari craft that were not pure warships featured a deck which was intended for corporate purposes. There would be conference rooms, a trading floor connected via fluid router link to all regional markets, quarters for corporate envoys and their staff, sometimes even a lounge where judicious networking could be conducted after official meetings were concluded.

Kassina had four of her men wait outside the frosted glass sliding door to the main conference room. It bore a stylized winged humanoid etched into it's surface – the logo of Garuda Enterprises, an unaffiliated corporation bereft of it's former Ishukone commission, and the best candidate from all the ships Alira had found in the Jita 4-4 docking computer. It had taken them the better part of a day to track them down to Kamio system, but Kassina was obviously good at her profession.

Alira had expected to see Amarrians aboard the ship, but when they entered she was startled to see a man wearing the black and gold robes marking him as an Lictor from the Ministry of Internal Order. The slender figure with flowing black hair and comely features rose and bowed before them. The Caldari woman at the other side of the conference table remained seated.

Alira felt surprise a second time when she recognized her. She was dressed formally, and her makeup was more understated, but it was definitely the young girl she had seen in the capsuleer bar on Jita 4-4 station. Only then she realized, that the bald powerfully built Brutor who had escorted them was one of the two men who had been with her then.

It was clear that they had found the people who took Keram. Tensely Alira waited for a cue from Kassina Vikkonen.

She did not have to wait too long. The tall Deteis bounty-hunter looked around the room while her troopers fanned out behind her. When her eyes came to rest on the young executive behind the large table she spoke. 'Tomoe Sairinen of Garuda Enterprises.' the bounty-hunter addressed the other woman formally 'By the authority of Article twenty-three, subsection five of the State Protectorate charter, I hereby claim your ship, it's cargo and it's crew for fleet support duty.'

The eyes of the young Caldari businesswoman widened in shocked surprise while she jumped from her chair as if struck by lightning. 'What?!' she screamed. The Brutor who had called himself Tharessar tensed and Kassina's soldiers readied their assault carbines.

Only the smooth-haired Amarrian smiled softly and bowed again.

'If I may.' he began calmly and smiled at Kassina Vikkonen who just reciprocated with a stony expression. 'I have just concluded a negotiation with this executive concerning.' he paused as if looking for words '… parts of her cargo.' His narrow eyes focused on Alira who felt uncomfortably reminded that Awakened Industries had been in direct confrontation with forces belonging to the Ministry of Internal Order.

The Deteis bounty-hunter did not show the slightest change of expression on her squarish face. 'I am sure if that's the case, then this agreement is on record.' she replied.

The Amarrian official pursed his lips but then his servile smile returned. 'We were just about to ..'

Kassina interrupted him with a sharp gesture. 'Enough! I am not here for trade negotiations. If you have no contract then you have no rights.' Across the table the other Caldari woman slumped back into her large executive chair with a confused expression.

'Now remove yourself from this ship.' Kassina ordered the Amarrian.

'You must be aware that this can have diplomatic …' the Amarrian began anew.

Again the Deteis woman interrupted him brusquely. 'You can file your complaints with the State Protectorate legal department.' she leveled her gaze at the dark-skinned man. 'Now get out of here before I have to make you.' Two of her soldiers moved to flanking positions at both sides of the robed Lictor.

The Amarrian bowed one last time, and then he left, casting a menacing look at Alira as he passed.

The big Brutor warrior nodded at his two aides with a barely hidden smile 'Make sure they find the exit.' he ordered his men, and they accompanied Kassina's soldiers, leaving the room.

'Now.' The Deteis bounty-hunter turned to the bewildered businesswoman. 'We shall have a word about your cargo.'


Alira thought that she had seen the worst in the abattoir that Sylera had made of the secret research facility back in Syndicate space. The memories of that slaughter had haunted her dreams for weeks.

Nothing there could have prepared her for the sight of Keram, though.

Large parts of his skin were flayed from his body, and the exposed flesh already began to turn necrotic here and there in sickly greenish-black patches. His lips had been cut off his face, exposing a ruined rictus grin of broken teeth. His nose and one of his eyes were missing too. His crotch was nothing but a bloody mess of lacerated tissue.

The sight alone was driving acidic bile up from Alira's stomach, but the smell of the sparsely lit torture chamber was what finally made her keel over and retch. The cloying, sweet aroma of blood mixed with the stench of urine and feces was too much to bear together with the tortured body of her fellow pilot.

Kassina Vikkonen seemed unaffected, but the two troopers she had taken along also looked as if only a supreme effort of will kept them upright and ready to receive orders.

When Alira had found a semblance of composure again she wiped her mouth and looked over the horrific scenery, avoiding the sight of the dangling man as well as she could. Medical apparatuses had been set up and connected to Keram's circulatory system. Electrodes had been connected to his spinal plugs and drilled into his skull.

'He is still alive.' Kassina announced dryly after sweeping her multi-purpose wrist-neocom over the mutilated body. 'But he will die if we disconnect him from this machinery that stabilizes him.'

Alira shook her head. 'We must make sure he can transfer into a clone, or it will be the end of him.' her stomach heaved again 'How could she have done this to him?' she wondered with shock.

The Deteis bounty-hunter shrugged. 'Some people can be very sore about things.' she reflected 'Been in the business long enough to see all kinds of things.' She turned to Alira' and for the first time ever the slightest hint of a smile appeared on her face 'But you're the first to pay me for keeping someone alive, and I intend to get that Tengu.'

'Get the medics and have them bring a mobile neural transfer unit.' Kassina Vikkonen ordered her two soldiers. Both were visibly relieved to be able to leave this grisly scene.

'What do you want to do with that executive girl?' she then asked Alira.

The Sebiestor engineer shook her head in disbelief again when considering the gruesome actions of that young woman who had just seemed a naïve corporate rich kid when she first saw her. 'I think I just never want to see her again.' Alira said quietly. 'I need to get out of here.' she added when another convulsion went through her peristaltic system.


From the panorama window of the conference room, Tomoe watched the Cerberus class assault cruiser turn away and shoot off into the star-spangled background at warp speed. The commandeering of her ship had just been a bluff to get rid of the Lictor, she realized. That State Protectorate capsuleer and the red-haired Minmatar had just wanted to take her prize away from her.

Inwardly she felt strangely relieved. She had done horrible things to this pirate. Worse than to any of the others. It made her feel dirty, but he had been the one who lead the attack at the Forge Princess' convoy back then. He had to pay dearest.

She was not sure what they did with him, but he was a capsuleer. If they had managed to connect him to a neural remap installation before his death, he would be reincarnated somewhere out there.

'Will he come back to destroy the rest of what I have left? Will he torture me like I tortured him?' she wondered. A shudder went through her and she wrapped her arms around herself.

She could hear the door open behind her and straightened before she turned. It was Tharessar. Faithful, strong Tharessar. Her last bodyguard. Would he leave her when her funds finally ran out and she could not pay him anymore?

'Executive. We are free to leave. What are your orders?'

She remembered the look from the Lictor when he saw the Matari woman. There was more in it than just Amarrian disdain for the other race. She had seen that woman together with Keram Themas at the bar. Her instincts told her that she was missing something.

'Maybe there is something in this after all that can make me some money.' she thought.

'Dig up everything you can about that Deteis capsuleer.' she told Tharessar. The Brutor man nodded his bald head and turned to leave. 'And Tharessar …' she stopped him and he turned back to look at her again. 'Tell the captain to set course for the Amarr Throne Worlds.'


  1. Hmm... Did not thought about this kind of development.
    Now I would like to see Kassina as some sort of covert agent working part-time for Awakened Industries.
    For Tomoe's future. I think, Keram is already regretting (at least a bit) his pirating years (or at least the killing part) and will try to convince the rest of AI to help Tomoe get on foot with her corp. With some form of financial benefit for themselves too of course (like that certain previous caldari businessman? :-) ).

    I miss only one thing from these stories... The daily updates. X'D

    1. Thank you for the feedback again. If you write me daily comments, I will give you daily updates too :)

      As for the characters, Keram will certainly be a changed man after his experience. Not to an extent that fans of his attitude will be too disappointed, though. All the others will certainly return. I like things that come back to haunt you :)

      I already decided that my final story - whenever that may be - shall be a great showdown where all the characters of all the stories make an appearance (if they are not dead by then).

      One update I can give you: I have already started on the epilogue chapter for this story, and I am confident to get it published before my holiday.

  2. OK then, daily comments coming... or not as you can see :-/
    But looking forward to the epilogue.