The Forge Region
Station: State War Academy
Cages rattled and vibrated when the thick doors opened. The vault was large, blast proof, and sound transmission was null. Nothing in and out without the capsuleer’s complete approval, encrypted code, voice print, embedded biochip, and biosecurity scans. This was her most important activity where she let her maternal instincts fully come to the surface.
“Oh, my sweet dears,” she cooed gently, petting their beautiful, sweet heads. “Mommy had such a long day of teaching and instruction with those obstinate, arrogant brats. I just needed to come see my perfect babies.” All the chittering and chattering of her hazy eyed pets made her feel needed. She barely noticed the stench.
Lesha stopped at each cage and gave her attention to each one in turn. Stroking their hair, squeezing their faces, checking their vitals. “Perfect health makes for a happy, playful life,” she encouraged. “Oh, my darlings, you all make me so happy. Are you ready for dinner?” Her sing song voice carried from the entrance to the back wall.
The Forge Region
Planet VI – Moon 1
Station: Sisters of EVE Bureau
“What is wrong with you?” Cornelias asked, slamming a palm down on the desk in front of him. His subordinate, Wilik Horis Tols jerked up from having rested his head on a stack of reports. His densely cluttered desk was a disaster zone, and the blow rattled the precarious stacks around him. They strained, almost in slow motion, to upend themselves, mounds of unending work toppling in all directions. Wilik breathed a sigh of relief when they settled without falling.
“I’m on my lunch break, sir,” Wilik explained in a mild voice. “I thought a small nap on my time would make me more productive this afternoon. For the good of the corporation.”
Cornelias swiped his wrist device and a holographic projection appeared with all of his staff’s schedules available for perusal. He pulled up Wilik and eyed it carefully. Satisfied he shut it down. “Quite right,” he offered reluctantly. “I received a request from the top brass on an old case. I want you to rummage through your, um, work load and bring it over for discussion. I’ll send the details.”
Verge Vendor Region
White tables filled the white room where everyone dressed in white. Joesen sat with his protected forehead resting on the hard surface in front of him. His long, untied robe hung open. The white shirt and pants he wore were freshly washed, smelled fresh, and his soft slippers kept his feet warm. The tall three sets of doors to the outside let in the frosty air. It smelled pleasant compared to the smell of Tarmin’s shit that permeated the place most of the time.
Joesen raised his head up and looked toward the high, bland ceiling. His pale green eyes looked beyond the long windows, beyond the blue, beyond the atmosphere to the stars above. Of course, he could not see them during the day, but he knew they were there. The Gallente form tattoos streaked his pale face, his features gaunt and thin gave him an unhealthy appearance.
“Fuck!” Joesen yelled, bringing his head down to strike the table. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” Each word was followed by a heavy head slam. The staff of the facility learned quickly that Joesen needed something to keep him from injuring his head on any nearby surface, so they shaved his head and put on a white safety helmet. He seemed to like it, so he did not fight them.
Sinq Laison Region
Planet IX – Moon 9
Station: Nugoeihuvi Corporation Development Studio
“Routine and more routine,” Gennis said as he closed out another transaction shaking his head. “Pilots fly out, get the crap beat out of their ships, fly back in, and want repairs. Wake up. Eat breakfast. Provide a quote. Eat lunch. Deal made. Make sure the replacement parts are formed just so. Better get that paint right, Gennis, they say. Like it all shiny, they do! Go home. Eat dinner. Go to bed. No real challenge anymore.”
“Makes for a good living, plenty of ISK to pay for the honies and brews,” Eduard commented as he scrolled through a list of current repair requests. Glancing over at Gennis he winked and grinned.
“Wipe that shit eating grin off your face,” Gennis said with his grouchy look. “Easy for a young journeyman, such as yourself, to say. I got a business to run, mouths to feed, and a wife who likes to fucking shop. Not to mention the deadbeats I employ.”
Groggy and on the edge of euphoria, the woman opened her eyes. Her nose and mouth felt covered, but she could take expanding, deep breaths. The small window of her confined space revealed the unexpected. She could barely move in the tiny, coffin sized tube, but at least she could look out.
The stars greeted her in their twinkling voices. They may only be burning points in the black canvas of space, but she found the sweetness of their light glorious. A deep need for compassion ached within her heart, and she found it anywhere she could in her trauma.
Outside, to her right, ships of all sizes appeared to be fighting one another. Some invoked a deep hatred, the ones with extensions like wings and their rusty colored surfaces. The others made her feel afraid with their bulbous bodies and sharp spikes. Threat and hate all merged together inside her.
Station: The Leisure Group Development Studio
Clouds twisted and rolled over the surface of the blue, oceanic planet outside the wide view port of the station. Energy from the system’s star heated the atmosphere and continued the unending cycle of storm building and release. Lightning danced among the swirling mists wrapped around the central low pressure of a powerful hurricane in view. A maelstrom that would find no land to hinder its way, wreaking havoc among the various types of colonies floating down on the surface that failed to prepare. Industrial or otherwise, none would be spared from the violence.
Light from the star flashed off a long, metallic blade as Jun ran a sharpening stone along its edge. The slow, rhythmic work focused his mind as the sound of the stone on the forged, folded metal filled his ears. His nostrils flared, breathing in the heavy scent of the applied oil. His dark colored eyes focused on the stone as he guided it. Strong, agile fingers manipulated the work with precision.
“I know. I know,” Jun said. His voice was low and rich in tone, unhurried in cadence, even sounded friendly to the listeners. Turning from the wide view port, he focused his eyes on the man sitting in a very comfortable recliner in the posh quarters. Placing the sharpening stone on a table to his left, he picked up a thick cloth and wiped his blade several times.
Hearing the screech from Madam Lowis Va’nel, a venerable middle aged woman, the capsuleer slipped his hand into his pocket and activated a small device. It vibrated for a second in response. Stepping away to the side of the room, he watched as the red faced woman stormed down the second level stairs. Her eyes were blazing with fury having witnessed her second child’s family betrayal. Her three female attendants ran after her, and a couple of family guards followed.
Her wild emotions shook her entire frame, and tears filled her eyes as she focused on Dewn. Mirroring her son’s attire in style, she wore an elegant black and gold dress. Gold implements adorned her carefully sculpted blond hair, and a string of pearls spun together in gold, graced her neck. In every way, she was the perfect Amarrian family matriarch. Strong in spirit, mind, and body she walked right up to her son and slapped him across the face.
The blow was ferocious and caused Dewn to take a step back. “What have you done?” she screamed, following him. “I was told by my secretary you wanted to meet to discuss the colony on planet two, but instead I find you consorting with brutes! Filthy, unbelieving savages! What have you done to your sister?” She struck him across the face again.