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

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

5 Nov 2011

A Trader's Woes - Part 1

Here, take a seat. You asked where I was the last few days, well, let me tell you. Actually, before I start, I am going to open a bottle of that smuggled Gallente stuff. I was going to sell it for a nice amount of ISK to some corp exec with special tastes and no scruples about buying illegal imports, but I need something really strong now. Here have some too.

All right, so it started four days ago. As you know, my trading subcontract from Kaalakiota was not turning out so well, and we both know what happens to unsuccessful subcontractors, right? I really don't know what I was thinking when I took on that license in Defsunun of all places. In the middle of nowhere, in Aridia, with only Amarr settlers around. I guess I reckoned, that so far out, close to the borders of the Empire, I'd get myself some good deals with the capsuleer alliances claiming the regions even further out on the fringes of the Galaxy.

You have to know, those Amarr border settlers are the worst of the whole lot. Religious puritans to the extreme. Sure, officially they are our allies, but that does not mean they like to buy our stuff. I tell you, some of those people refuse to even touch stuff that does not have a seal of approval from the Empress herself, and wasn't washed with the consecrated tears of a hundred holy virgins. Anyway I digress.

So I am sitting in my trade office, fretting about the figures of my business all being stagnant when they are not plummeting. While I'm sitting there, wondering how I can make ends meet, the secretary I haven't paid for a month announces that someone wants to speak to me. I tell her to send them in, and that girl appears in my office. Cute young thing, in this weird Amarr way. You know those doll-like dames with skin like cream and hair so light-coloured it's almost white? Sort-of graceful and feminine, but with that look on their faces as if all of them are a better sort of human being, just because they have a woman running the business over there.

I had a weird feeling about her the moment she walked in, so I ran her ID on my workstation. Turns out she used to be a capsuleer with the 24th Crusade. You know, that's the Amarr equivalent of our State Protectorate. Mostly capsuleers and some regular Amarr Navy elite crews giving the Minmatar a run for their money. When I say 'used to' I am actually meaning this in a very literal sense, because she is listed as being dead.

Give me the bottle I need another one.

Of course I put on my best Pettokori-face and don't let on what I found out, but still her first words were. 'You are surprised to see me here alive and well, tradesman Aluvetti.' It was a statement, not a question, and she looks at me with those gray eyes like she's a corp auditor who knows every little detail about me. I still try to play it smooth though. I mean, you know me, I'm willing to listen to any business-proposal if it's bound to make ISK. That was even more the case with my position, facing an audit in only a week and not much value to my name. Also there was something in the way she said those words. Something that tells me I want to hear her out. No idea what it was, but I did. I guess I shouldn't have.

So I tell her I'm not asking questions if the deal looks right and she smiles at me as if she already knew I'd say that. She adds a satisfied nod to the package and drops the contract on me. Well that was when my professional composure suffered, and it would not be the last time in this episode. I reckon I must have had a look on my face like a startup exec making his first big hit on the market.

What she had there on sale was not just some valuable stuff. I'm talking several thousand tons worth of the most rare ores. Arkanor, Crokite and more of the kind, all compressed to the highest density. And that wasn't all. There was a long list of things, most of which I had to look up in the trade register because I've never heard of them. It was the sort of material used for Tengu class ships, just that I have never seen the base materials for such a construction before, only finished parts at insane prices. With a stock like that you would be able to build any ship of that sophistication. The Gallente, the Minmatar or the Amarr variant, just as well as a Tengu. And not only one, a small fleet's worth of what the trade register calls 'Strategic Cruiser Subsystems'. I couldn't believe my eyes.

'If you doubt the legitimacy of my offer you are welcome to inspect the cargo in person.' that young woman says with her stilted Amarr accent.

Of course I tell her, that I would certainly wish to do so. I didn't quite take her seriously. I thought it must be a scam of some sort. To be honest, wouldn't you? I mean, she was a capsuleer, all right, but she looked so young and inexperienced. I did mention that she was also officially dead, right? I wonder whether it was there that everything began to go wrong, or right at the moment when I decided to hear her out instead of reporting her immediately.

Pour me another one, will you.

So we go to inspect the cargo hold of this Orca-class mining ship. I reckoned that it was not her ship. When I checked her, I found out that she was not certified to fly such a ship, at least not before her 'death'. I saw quite a few crewmen, all Caldari. Mostly Achura and some Deteis. Two of those tagged along as guards. They carried heavy plasma guns and wore nano-powered armor suits. Another one of those details that should have screamed 'Get out of this now!' at me, but all the cargo checked out fine. I was too busy running the numbers on this sweet deal to think of anything else. At this point I begin to feel much better about the upcoming audit, and then all hell breaks loose.

I don't know where they came from or how they got onto the station, let alone that ship, but all of a sudden, a whole unit of Amarr commandos storms in with guns blazing and do their best to disrupt this business deal. Those Deteis troopers return fire, and I dive for cover with the feeling that my stocks just crashed again.

Ducking and running like crazy I try to come up with a way to salvage this. It occurs to me that I still have that contract offer on my portable. I figure, if I could link up with the corporate network, close the deal and add some insurance clause, I could at least get the ISK transferred even if I might lose the goods. I know, that's not how you run a straight business, but I was on overdrive like a prime share on it's first day of trading. I hide behind some containers and link my portable to the fluid-router trying to find contractors to bite before this deal is fouled. All around me, high powered weapons are being fired and then I feel a vibration The ship was moving! Shortly after that, my fluid-router link got cut off. I only found out later how that happened.

The next thing I remember is that Amarr waif grabbing me from behind and twisting me around in some way that happens way too fast for me to figure out what she did. Then that girl, probably half my weight, slams me to the ground as if it's nothing. Right when I am lying there trying to figure out what just happened she strikes me at some extremely painful point on the side of my throat and I pass out.

All right, fill up the glasses, because I can tell you, this is the point where it becomes even weirder.

No comments:

Post a Comment