Lone Hunter

nemesis

Location: Somewhere in wormhole space.

She exited warp 20 kilometers from the wormhole. This particular wormhole, categorized N110, lead directly to high security space. She didn’t know which part of empire space, but that was irrelevant. The interesting thing was that this solar system always had one static wormhole of this class. That meant that there would be traffic coming in and out of this system regularly. And that meant profit.

She wasn’t alone here. A corporation had setup residence in the system. They had placed several moon mining and industrial structures in the system as well as three Astrahus citadels. The citadels were clearly their base of operation and the mining structures their source of income. She had observed them for some time and their fleet primarily consisted of Occators and Iteron Mark V industrial ships. The Occator would be a nice catch. She knew the Occator was designed to operate in this kind of space. It was hard to warp disrupt and had a decent tank. However she wasn’t really worried about the tank. Her torpedoes would eat through that in no time. She was worried she could keep her victim from warping off before she could kill it. Occators could transport a huge amount of materials and goods. Ships included. But the capsuleers that lived here were smart. They knew what they were doing and she had to be smart to intercept them and kill them. She hoped Bob was on her side.

She had left FDU some time ago. She couldn’t come to terms with the way they ran things and the level of attendance they required. She missed the Gunslingers and shortly after joining the FDU she left it again. Gunslingers welcomed her back and ownership of the corporation was immediately returned to her.

The company needed an overhaul however. There would be changes to how things were running. Offices in some parts of empire space and low sec would be closed. There was no need for them anymore. That would require a lot of logistic planning from the other members of the corporation but that was their job. Focus would shift from manufacturing and mining to exploration and piracy in wormhole space. The corporation would still be mining and manufacturing, but at a lower activity level and only to support the wormhole operations and pay the bills.

The wormhole “splashed”. She watched her scanners intensely and got ready to attack. 15 kilometers away a frigate emerged from the wormhole. It was a Minmatar Probe frigate and the pilot quickly activated his cloak and warped off. She checked her directional scanners and after a minute or two Scanner probes showed up on her scan result. The pilot was clearly scanning down the system in order to find any hidden and abandoned sites worth scavenging. She had scanned down the system and knew there were only one other wormhole and an abandoned outpost in the system.

She warped to the abandoned outpost, stayed cloaked and waited patiently while constantly checking her directional scanner. By the way the Probe pilot moved his scanner probes around the system she knew he was scanning down this particular site.

A couple of minutes later the Probe landed on grid. Because she was cloaked he didn’t notice her and went for the first abandoned structure. She directed her camera drones towards his ship and saw he was trying to hack his way in to the structure.

She uncloaked her Nemesis stealth bomber, quickly targeted and warp disrupted him. Because he was a small target torpedoes wasn’t really the best weapon to use so she lit her two target painters making sure her torpedoes would hit their target. The first volley ripped through the frigates shields and most of its armor. The second volley disintegrated the ship. A third volley took care of the capsule and left debris and the frozen corpse of her victim floating in space.

She checked the wreck but it contained nothing of value so she unleashed a fourth volley to remove any evidence of what just had happened.

She quickly cloaked again and checked her scanners. Nothing. That was good. She didn’t want to attract the attention of the residents of the system.

She turned her nemesis around and warped to a safe spot in the system. It was time to hunt down that Occator..

 

For the Federation! Part 2

thorax

The 296 meter long Thorax class cruiser slowly maneuvered towards the acceleration gate. The gate itself was 15 kilometers long and the technology reached back to expansion era of the empires that survived the great EVE gate collapse. This one was constructed by the Serpentis Corporation leading to one of their many hidden drug laboratories within Gallente space. As the cruiser reached a distance of 2000 meters it started to align with the gate. A few seconds’ later blue electrical lights surged along the gate and the cruiser and its 176 man crew was accelerated and warped to the hidden Serpentis drug laboratory.

Gaylan felt nauseous when then ship exited warp. Even though it had only been a short jump he still got affected by it. The first week he had suffered from jump sickness a lot, but his body had somehow adjusted to the warping and now it was only minor annoyances associated with the warping. He checked his monitors and holo projectors and quickly assessed the situation.

“Seven frigates and three cruisers.. Range 30 kilometers” he announced to the other five members on the bridge. “No reaction or hostile actions yet. It is like they don’t know we are here”

There was no captain on the bridge. This was a capsuleer ship and none of the crew members had ever seen the capsuleer. Not as far as he knew. They had heard her a few times on the intercom when she had addressed the crew. He assumed it was a woman. However the voice could be altered for several reasons.

The captain as he called her steered the ship towards a small bunker sitting close to a large asteroid. The bunker which after a quick scan was confirmed to be the drug laboratory was orbited by two sentry guns defending it against intruders.

They were 25 kilometers away from the bunker when the Serpentis reacted.

The frigates, all Daredevil class, quickly closed range with the cruiser and opened fire. Gaylan felt a rush of adrenalin as the combat started but that only made him more focused. His fingers danced across the keyboard and screens calling up schematics on the enemy ships and weapon systems.

The capsuleer quickly targeted the frigates and before Gaylan knew of it the five blaster cannons started spewing hybrid charges furiously at the first Daredevil frigate. At the same time Gaylan heard the characteristic sound of drones being unleashed from the belly of the cruiser. The drones, Hobgoblin II’s, zoomed straight towards the cruisers and quickly swarmed their first victim.

“Our shields are gone” an operator across the room said in a calm voice “Armor taking damage. Standby for Reppers.”

Gaylan returned his attention on the Daredevil again. The capsuleer let the blaster cannons dance across the frigate in a violent ballet relieving it of its shield and quickly stripping away its armor. Gaylan zoomed in on the daredevil and both horrified and amazed at the same time he saw how the hybrid charges ripped the ship apart exposing the hull and interior of the frigates to the cold emptiness of space. He saw the poor crewmembers of the frigates get sucked into space dying as their lungs collapsed and their bodies froze. Within a few minutes all the frigates had been dealt with. The bridge was silent.

The capsuleer put the Thorax closer to the bunker and concentrated on the remaining Serpentis cruisers. Gaylan was amazed with the speed and the daft maneuvering from the capsuleer. Again the exchange of fire between the Thorax and the Serpentis cruisers was like seeing a dance of death. Gaylan felt as if he was watching a holoreel. It was all so surreal and even though he knew that he could end as one of those poor frozen bastards out there he was never really afraid. This wasn’t his first combat engagement and it wasn’t going to be his last.

As the last cruiser exploded and the drones destroyed the sentry guns the thorax established an orbit around the Serpentis bunker. The drones returned to the drone bay and the blaster cannons settled back in their idle stations and reloaded.

Gaylan realized he had been holding his breath and let out a sigh. Apparently he wasn’t the only one. There was chatting among the rest of the crew on the bridge. Some even laughed a nervously.  Another encounter survived. Another mission completed.

They orbited the bunker for several minutes while other crew members went out into the emptiness of space and into the wrecks of Serpentis ships stripping them of anything valuable.

To Gaylans surprise the blaster cannons swung back into action. The bunker was targeted and within seconds the bunker started falling apart. A few escape pods were launched, but Gaylan knew the several thousand people, innocent probably – woman and children, was dying a short and violent death as the bunker stopped to exist in a bright and blinding explosion.

Suddenly Gaylan wished he were somewhere else…

1 week later Gaylan sat in one of the many bars of the station. The crew had been given a 24 hours leave and most of them spend it either in bars or brothels. He sat by himself slowly sipping his drink. The bar was almost empty even though it wasn’t late. He didn’t mind that. He needed to think because the episode a week prior had been on his mind constantly.

“You look worried”

He looked up startled. A red-haired woman was standing next to him. He hadn’t heard her walk up to him, but then again he had been deep in his own thoughts. She was pretty. Long red hair, high cheekbones and freckles. She had a slender build and reached him to the shoulder. she somehow seemed familiar.

“Did I startle you?” she said with a smirk.

He cleared his throat. “oh.. I didn’t see you coming… yeah a bit” he laughed.

“Can I sit?” she said and took a seat next to him before he could answer. She ordered the same thing he was drinking.

“So care to share?” she asked him directly.

A little too directly for his taste but there was something about her that made him want to share his concern. Maybe because he hadn’t been with a woman for some time.

He told her about the episode with the serpentis and the unjust killing of the civilians in the bunker. He let out his frustration towards the capsuleer piloting the flying coffin he had embarked. He let go of his frustration about being a pawn without rights. Being a puppet controlled by a mad puppet master or in this case mistress. What had triggered it was the killing of the innocent people in the Serpentis bunker.
He sighed and stopped his rant. His glass was empty. She ordered him a new drink.

“So it was okay to kill the Serpentis crew in their frigates and cruisers but not the ones in the bunker?” she asked. He nodded.
“It is perfectly possible for a just war to be fought unjustly and for an unjust war to be fought in strict accordance with the rules.” she said and looked him straight in the eyes. “The Serpentis is an abomination and a threat to Gallente society and therefore they must be removed.”

She took a sip of her drink and continued

“Capsuleers or soldiers, like yourself, do not, of course, have a right to kill just anyone. Combatants are permitted to kill only opposing combatants. This is, indeed, the traditional understanding of the central requirement of discrimination. All combatants, just and unjust alike, must discriminate between combatants and noncombatants, intentionally attacking only the former and not the latter. This way of interpreting the requirement to discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate targets is so deeply entrenched that we typically reserve the pejorative term ‘terrorism’ for acts that violate the requirement, so understood—that is, for acts of violence intentionally directed against noncombatants as a means of achieving aims of a broadly political nature.”

She looked at him and said “follow?” He didn’t but was intrigued by where she was going with this so he nodded.

“So your concern is that you were part of slaughtering innocents? Well innocent means those who retain their immunity to attack are therefore are not threatening. In the context of war, the innocent are those who do not contribute to the prosecution of the war, that is, noncombatants. The noninnocent are those who pose a threat to others, that is, combatants. They lose their immunity and are liable to attack. In your case that is the pilots attacking your ship.”

“Go on” he said

“What does ‘innocent’ mean in the context of war? In the just war tradition, to say that an individual is not innocent is not to say that he is guilty, that he deserves to die, that his life is less valuable, or that his death is less tragic. It is only to say that he has done something to meet the criterion for liability to attack—which, according to the traditional theory, is posing a threat to others. The notion of innocence bears only on the permissibility of killing, not on the tragedy of death.” She emptied her drink and put down the glass.

“So what you are saying is that by posing a direct threat to Gallente society through production of drugs and supporting or affiliating with the Serpentis those inhabitants became combatants and thereby the killing of them became just?”

She smiled. “Thats exactly what I am saying.”

He thought about that for a minute.

“Or maybe” she continued “Your captain is just another cruel and heartless capsuleer”

She got up and brushed his arm lightly. “Take care crewman and fly safe.”

She turned and left. He finished the rest of his drink and was about to leave when he suddenly realized how he knew her.

Her voice… Gaylan suddenly felt cold..

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For the Federation! Part 1

909a7882ecf189c6ff791da0a2dfdc85Location: Stacmon V – Moon 9 – Federation Navy Assembly Plant

“You are what!?” He almost shouted it.

“I am transferring ownership of the corporation to you.”

He closed his eye, squeezed the bridge of his nose and sighed.

“Whatever Mesh.. I’m in Dodixie now taking care of corporate business anyways. Do your thing.. Self-realization or whatever it is you are doing and then come back whenever you feel like it.”

She smiled at him and said in a soft voice: “You are the best.”

She switched off the communicator and got out of bed. The light was dim and the air needed recycling in the small quarters she had in the station. She opened the refrigerator, grabbed a Quafe and went to the viewport overlooking the traffic in and out of the station.

There was a knock on the door. One of those knocks that sounded official. Military knocks. She opened the door and saw she had been right. In the hallway stood two officials from the Gallente Federation. One was an older man with a stern look. Behind him, holding a datapad stood a young man looking uncomfortable. He reminded her of a puppy.

“yes?” she said fully aware that she was still only in her underwear.

The older man with the stern expression took the lead. Obviously.

“Miss Meshfori?”

“Yes that is me” She looked past him at the young man, looked him up and down and gave him a smile. He blushed.

“We are here on official business” the older man said. “I’m captain Velore and this is my associate Lieutenant Mekinan. We are here to discuss your application to join the Federal Defence Union.”

She invited them in and offered them a drink which they refused. She grabbed a jumpsuit on her bed and slipped into it before she sat down opposite the two men that had seated themselves at the only table in the room.

“I am going to be frank with you Miss. The FDU is not impressed with your previous work and who you affiliated with. Our records show that you several years ago sided with both The Ammarrian Navy and the Caldari Navy. This has resulted in the FDU having certain.. ermm.. how to put it.. trust issues with capsuleers  like yourself.”

She of course knew all this. However she had good connections within the Federation and her persuasion skills normally got her what she wanted. But with this man.. this Captain Velore she wasn’t so sure. He was obviously used to working with capsuleers and wasn’t intimidated at all. This could be a problem.

“I know.” she said. “I am trying to redeem myself. I want to do the right thing Captain.  My loyalty lies with the Gallente Federation now. I am sure we can figure something out” She smiled one of her convincing smiles at him.

No reaction.

“Charm and bribery won’t get you far. I know some people think highly of you and consider you trustworthy. However the FDU does not!”

He looked at the lieutenant behind him and gave him a nod. The young man tapped a few times on the datapad and looked up at her.

“You should receive mission details and agent contacts now Miss.”

She looked at her datapad lying on the table beside her.

“What is this?” she said while scrolling through the data.

“This” the older man said ”is the location of agents willing to let you work for us. There are also locations on Serpentis hideouts which I will encourage you to look closer at. This is your chance to redeem yourself.”

Now he smirked. What an asshole.

Without any further comments he got up and left the room with the young lieutenant following right behind him.

She sat there for some time starring into nothingness. He was right of course. She had done wrong in the eyes of the Gallente Federation. She had however expected it to be minor technicality to join the FDU. Her connections and flair for diplomacy had opened many doors for her during the last couple of years. But the FDU saw right through that. She respected that. It was pure and clean.

She looked at the datapad again. It looked simple and easy and it might even earn the corporation some money. She needed to prepare for this. First she needed a bigger ship, hire a crew for it, and pay the insurance for the ship and the crew.

She opened a private channel to her broker.

“yes Mesh? What can I do for you?”

“I need a cruiser sized ship and a crew for it.. and I need it by tomorrow.”

“Okay I think it can be done.. I’ll find something I know you like to fly. Anything else?”

“Can you be discrete?”

“You know I can.” He laughed.

“Send up a couple of pleasure slaves while you are at it. And a bottle of Caldari whiskey.”

“Oh that is going to cost you” There was a moment of silence “I have a couple of Minmatar slaves. They are on Vitoc so there should be no issues. Male or female?”

“Send me the female tonight. I will make sure you get paid accordingly”.

She closed the communicator and tossed it on the table. Tonight was going to be a good night after all.

Playing with gods..

She was uncomfortable standing there in the hallway of the space station orbiting moon 5 of planet IV in the Goinard system. It was not because of the mutilated man lying before her in his own blood whimpering and begging for mercy, no it was because she missed the comforting sensation of pod fluid enveloping her body and the feel of total control of a ship.

She looked down at the body before her. His mutilation was a result of her making a point. A month ago she had been careless. She had in a moment of recklessness aggressed another capsuleer at the warpgate in the Palmon system. That had of course cost her an intercepter, a fragment of her pride and last but not least her victim.

The two thugs she hired stood nervously beside her waiting for orders. They were obviously in over their heads and they knew it. The look on their faces when they found out they were working for a capsuleer was almost worth the money itself. She enjoyed this kind of control. She knew it was twisted, but the lack of true death ment the lack of caring for the mortals. At least for her part. She was a demigod.

She hadn’t given much thought to the loss of her interceptor until she was targeted in the Dodixie system. She had just undocked the station in a brand new Myrmidon battlecruiser when warning signs started flashing and alarms started bleeping followed by the shattering of her battlecruiser. Projectiles ripping through shields, armor and hull. Then the short searing pain of death. She hated the cloning process. Waking up being dizzy and disorientated. Confusion and memories of death. It took time to shake off. The first time was the worst. She still remembered it in every detail. The smell and taste of the cloning facility was clear in her memory. But it was a cheap price to pay for immortality.

The loss of her Battlecruiser in the Dodixie system was directly linked to the loss of her interceptor in the Palmon system. When someone illegally agresssed someone in CONCORD monitored systems a Killright was issued. Other capsuleers had taken advantage of that and collected the bounty on her head. She didn’t have issues with that. It was their right and that was how the system worked. She had used it herself. It was the fact that they caught her that annoyed her and made her angry. Someone had talked. Someone had told other capsuleers were she could be found.

It was that someone that now lay before her in his own pool of blood.

She kneeled down and looked him in the eye he had left. She saw resignation in his eye as he realised that death was inevitable.

“You made one mistake mister Holden.” She said. “You played with the gods…”

 

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