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 Sep 2012

What once was lost - Part 5



'You will never get past security.' Kellis Shaharod protested after Shisei shot down the second guard using the man's own stunner gun he had picked up from the floor.

Sandrielle nodded at the elderly Matari research director with a smile that drew creases on her disguised face. 'I fully agree with you.' she concurred and looked at Shisei. 'What is the status of Hysteria?' she wondered.

The Achura scientist looked at the neocom on his wrist. 'Hysteria is ready to launch.' he announced after tapping the surface a few times to retrieve a set of readings.

'Shall we?' Sandrielle inclined her head invitingly.

Shisei nodded and hit the execute on his portable device.

Immediately alarm sirens went off and the ambient lighting changed to a pulsating red.

'Emergency evacuation protocol is now in effect for levels sixty-five to sixty-seven.' A calm but commanding female voice announced. 'All personnel proceed to escape tubes immediately.' the voice continued between the wails of the alarm. 'This is not a drill.'

A wide portion of the wall paneling slid apart in multiple segments to reveal a row of round tubes which opened in turn with a low hiss. Red arrows flashed on the floor to point the way towards the escape from an acute disaster which only existed in the artificial mind of the station's computer system.

'The comfort of executive lounges.' Shisei commented dryly. 'Always an escape route nearby.'

'Cedrien, do you read us?' Sandrielle thought-transmitted through her communication implant.

'Loud and clear.' the Gallente commander responded on an encrypted channel that directly induced Sandrielle's nerves to create the illusion of speech. 'I am locked on to your transmission and ready to receive you.'

Sandrielle nodded at her Caldari companion. 'Cedrien is in position. We should leave.'

'Research Director Shaharod.' Shisei turned to look at the gray-haired man after he had helped Sandrielle to hoist up the limp body of Hegomir Torstan. 'I want you to know that I very much enjoyed our conversation and all previous ones.'

He bowed his head once at the other man 'I hope you will forgive me one day for this betrayal.' Then the two wormhole capsuleers dragged their captive over to an escape tube and carefully slid him in before they each entered one themselves.

Seconds later three escape pods hurtled from Site-One's spire among a swarm of similar projectiles. Space fluctuated in their path and the smooth curves of a Proteus class strategic cruiser emerged from invisibility. A tractor beam lanced out and took hold of the three slender shapes to quickly drag them into the cargo hold of the organically rounded gray-green hull.

Before the captains patrolling around the science installation in their sentinel frigates even registered what had happened. the ship vanished from sight again.

Kellis Shaharod remained standing in his lounge for a few moments. Confounded by the events, he was not sure how he should react. The alarm was obviously false, but part of him still wondered whether he should enter an escape tube anyway.

Finally he shook his head to dispel the confusion that had taken hold of his mind and he called security.

It was an empty gesture. He knew it would be already too late.

***

Sandrielle's face still itched with the aftereffects of the reconstructing makeup she had worn for several hours. Normally older women would use that sort of enzyme cream to appear younger. She had to thank Shisei's bioengineering stuff for re-manufacturing it in ways that made it do the opposite. The process did unexpected side-effects, though, making her skin feel raw and irritated. Fortunately her highly developed discipline had prevented her from reflexively rubbing her face during all that time.

'So that was you there on the station?' Hegomir Torstan asked rhetorically while gazing out into the star-spangled distance.

'I could not let my companion walk into your little trap all by himself.' the Gallente woman replied while looking at the scientist facing away from her. She put the annoying pricks on her face out of her mind while leaning back in her chair which formed part of the comfortable arrangement in the observation lounge of Cedrien's ship.

Savant Torstan had his hands clasped tightly behind his back which exaggerated the waistline of his russet coloured overcoat. For the rest he seemed relaxed, standing there in front of the large panoramic window. His face was reflected in the tinted transparex. Enough for Sandrielle to read and interpret his expression. On his calm and dignified features she could see that he had come to terms with his defeat.

'Will you kill me now?' he wondered from his position before the starfield that wavered slightly with the distortion effect of the ship's cloak.

'If that would have been our purpose, you would not be standing there.' Sandrielle replied matter-of-factly.

'So what do you want with me.' Torstan turned and looked at her with the annoyance of a man who had been disturbed by an inconvenient request.

'There is someone who requires your services.' Sandrielle replied. 'Your test subject.'

'She is alive?!' Hegomir raised his eyebrows and his pupils widened, indicating surprise but also worried concern. Sandrielle knew it was not about Sylera but about the possibility that his secret project might become known.

She nodded slowly. 'And very much burdened by what you have done to her.' she added reproachfully.

'So she has not returned to the Amarrians?' the Sebiestor scientist sounded momentarily relieved.

'Well.' Sandrielle got up from the form-fitting chair and approached the man. 'We were going to return her to her own kind' she looked into Torstan's eyes. 'But they were more interested in what you had done with her capsule control system than anything else. She has no home to go back to now.'

Torstan waved dismissively and stepped away from her to turn and look back out again. 'Forgive me for not losing any sleep over the fate of an Amarrian who enslaved and murdered my people.' he then faced the Gallente woman with grim determination in his eyes. 'I used my talents to serve the Republic.' he emphasized each word individually. 'You would have done the same if you had been in my position.'

'Indeed I would have.' Sandrielle admitted readily and held the man's gaze. 'And it is exactly that which I want you to understand very clearly.' she added slowly. 'You must understand that I consider Sylera one of my companions, and – like you – I am prepared to go very far to protect them.' she closed and poured all the necessary menace into the statement.

Hegomir Torstan swallowed and nodded. 'I understand.' he answered quietly. 'So if I help her, you will let me return home?'

Sandrielle displayed her palms in an open gesture. 'That depends entirely on you.'

The Matari scientist stroked his chin and contemplated the statement for some time. 'This technician of yours, Alira Tjalgard, will I be working with her?' he finally asked.

Sandrielle smiled subtly. She could see the old man's fascination with the young, unconventional and creative firebrand. Very likely Alira reminded him of his younger self. 'She would be the first choice.' Sandrielle confirmed.

'That sounds acceptable.' Savant Torstan replied with satisfaction.

'We shall see.' Sandrielle replied ambivalently and prepared to leave. 'You can move freely in all non-restricted areas of the ship.' she informed the man. 'Don't forget that this vessel is under capsuleer control. Whatever the security systems register will be known immediately to captain Roucellis and there will be no tolerance in case you attempt anything.'

'Of course.' Torstan replied flatly.

After Sandrielle had left, he contemplated his situation while outside the view collapsed into a streaked vortex as the ship entered warp.

It did not even look that bad: He would be able to see the results of his work. He would meet that young woman who had broken through his protocols. Someone possibly even worthy of his knowledge.

He would see wormhole space.

A real adventure that would add to the fame and unique character of Savant Hegomir Torstan.

He could not help but smile.

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