Abby looked out into the empty darkness, willing herself to be out there. But that was quite the impossibility as her only ship in the station was being upgraded with some good armour rigs. To the civilians passing behind her, she must seem so lost, so out of place. The station is not a place for a capsuleer, the pilots of New Eden, it was for the norms. She felt at the base of her skull, just under her flaming red pony tail. The small indents in the skin and the cold metallic disc protruding slightly out of her head only seemed to make her more self-conscious of how different she was from the people around her.
She hadn't always been that way. Not all that long ago she also had been a “civie”. The hustle and bustle of station life in those days were what she knew, what she had come to love about her life off the planet.
“You're new to coming into station, aren't you?” came a voice from beside her. Startled, she took a half step away from the man who had suddenly appeared. “Oh please, I don't bite, honest. Well, at least not in here. Out there,” the man nodded out the glass window before them toward the blackness, “out there is a different story.” The man finished his sentence with a little wink at Abby.
“And who might you be, sir?” Abby asked the man.
“Lord, I'm not that old, no need to be so formal. But to answer your question, my name-or I should say, what my friends call me- is Euc. Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Baxter.”
“Say what now?! How in the name of Jove do you know my name!?” Abby was more uncomfortable than she was angry, but she still wanted an answer.
“Whoops, well, cats out of the bag it would seem. Now, this will more than likely not make things any better, but the truth is that I've been watching you, Miss Baxter.”
“No, that really doesn't make this sound any better. In fact, I'd say it's a bit worse now. Do you REALLY know who I am?” Abby had gone from uncomfortable and slightly angry to scared and really pissed. It wasn't that he had suddenly shown up, she'd already waved that off as just a coincidence, it wasn't that he knew her name, he could have easily found it on the roster and looked up her information in the Concord database. What pissed her off and scared her was that in a station like this, out of her ship, she was completely defenceless, and she'd left herself completely vulnerable during her daydreaming.
The man turned to her, completely calm and even with a slight smile on his face. He lost a few more points in Abby's mind for that smile.
“You are Abby Baxter, 29 years of age, home planet Jita 4, capsuleer license JR-49-E3-3. Jita registered, 49th in the the academy-out of what I can only assume to be 500, or so-signed for Et al., and this is your third month out. 15 kills (5 of which are pods), 3 losses, no pod deaths. Security status, well, it WAS -7.36, currently at .043.” the man leaned in slightly, motioning for Abby to do the same. “I also know that you have a 35 million ISK bounty on your head.” The pair straightened back up. The man, who called himself Euc, checked over his shoulder at the security office up the walkway. That's when she noticed the circular metal sticking off the back of his neck.
“You're a cap-!”
“SHH, not so loud!”
“You're a capsuleer too?”
“Indeed. But unlike you, I have a few...complications.”
“Well, unlike you, my security status is still quite negative, enough so to make me a supposed hazard to the people of the station. I'm technically restricted to my pod.”
“How did you get here in the first place, you couldn't have made it here through Empire space.”
“Oh, no, clearly that would cause an unnecessary risk to me. I jump cloned, of course. But once I got here, I was 'Confined to my room during my stay, to ensure the safety of the people. Please pardon the inconvenience.'”
“Okay...so, I really shouldn't be talking to you, then. I mean, if they see us together when you get caught, I could be in serious trouble.”
“Well I'm hoping that this will not take so long as to allow me to be found missing.”
“And what, exactly, is 'this'?”
“'This' is a job offer.”
“Look, Euc, as you probably saw from my kill-mails, I work alone.”
“Yes yes, preying on week old capsuleers and the occasional hauler or mining barge whose pilot seems to have fallen asleep. But would you not like more? Would you not like to work towards bigger and better prey. And a seventy-five percent chance of popping something cruiser sized or bigger?”
“Yeah, but no one can guarantee those kind of odds. I mean, not every system has the idiots to allow something like that. How can you make such a claim?” Abby was intrigued but confused. During her time outside of Empire space, she'd only been able to kill anyone that was unlucky, or just plain stupid. To think about getting on multiple kills a day was just a little too much.
“I work for a Corporation run by pirate capsuleers. I'm sure you've heard of New Eden Renegades.” After providing the corporation name, Euc gave a smile from ear to ear.
Abby perked at the name of the corporation. New Eden Renegades, a rag-tag group of pilots who had too much fun doing what they love. They're philosophy was 'This can only end well'. Frigates, cruisers, the occasional battlecruiser, and skill. This comprised the NER. Most of the pilots had at one point been a member of Hellfleet, another pirate group. NER was supposed to be the best of Hellfleet, and while it was fairly new in existence, had already achieved a fantastic amount of kills.
“You work for them? Like, seriously?”
“Indeed. Also, sorry about your Moa, I'm willing to partially compensate the loss.”
“What are you...” Abby thought back to the day she lost her Caldari cruiser class Moa. Thought back to the kill-mail she got from the fight. Tried to remember the name of the pilot. 'E..Eu...Eucleides!' “Holy shit, that was you!?”
“Indeed. Now, if you can walk, I can talk, seeing as how I should probably get back to my quarters.”
“Uh, yeah, I've nothing better to do until the rigs are installed.”
“Good! Shall we,” he motioned toward an elevator down the walkway, in the opposite direction of the security station.
Abby took the time to finally look at the man she had just met. He was tall, bald and wrinkly, like her grandfather had been last she saw him on Jita 4. But unlike her grandfather, this man, as old as he might look, carried himself upright, was quite muscular for his apparent age, and spoke with a hidden dignity, a sense of self higher than many of the civilians on the station would dare to dream of. He was Amarrian, but acted nothing like one. He was polite, humble, and his gesture of compensation for her loss had caught her completely off-guard. Amarrians were known to be, well, to put it simply, dicks. They were stand-offish, prissy, money hoarding bastards with a God complex. Everything they did was for the faith. Civil rights was unheard of within the Amarr Empire, as was seen when they enslaved the Minmatar for years. This man, this pirate, had none of that. He was friendly, too polite for his own good, and Abby doubted that anything he did was by the will of any God. But the tricky thing about the situation, Amarrians, by nature, hated everyone, and this concerned Abby as to how Euc could be as he is, considering his background.
“So, shouldn't you be detailing how God chose me or that I'm a sinner and should be punished or something?”
“Hahaha, no no no. I lost my faith when I became a capsuleer. You become such an independent that you realise that you really don't need the Empire anymore. And no, I don't hate Minmatar. In fact, I have a good friend who is a Brutor. She's a capsuleer as well, but she mines, makes ISK and will give me a portion from time to time. Heh, I've even got a nice ol' Minny battlecruiser waiting for me at home once we're done.”
“Okay, say for a minute I believe you and say yes to your offer, what do I get?”
“The satisfaction of blowing ships up and the respect of your mates, like me.”
“That's it,” Abby asked, a little disappointed, and it came out that way.
“If you want a steady salary for your combat, go join a mercenary corporation. All of us at NER are self-sufficient. We all have industrial friends that help us out with ISK. Maybe it's time for you to make friends too, or get one of your friends from home to come join you up here.”
“No, no, my friends and family kind of hate me for leaving them. Capsuleers are looked down on in my city. Hell, we're in space and we're looked down on by all these people.”
“True, true. Well, then I suggest that if you DO accept the offer, you make friends with some of those sweet, innocent, high security industrialists. Anyway, this is my stop, I look forward to your answer, I will give you some time to think about it.”
As Euc disappeared into a dark, narrow passageway, Abby looked around confused. She had been so lost in conversation that she hadn't been paying attention to where she had gone. Suddenly a disembodied head appeared out of the dark passageway, “You'll want to go back that way,” he nodded back down the hall to Abby's right, “take care now. Hope to see you soon. Oh, and try to message me before you leave here, we'll let you know where we're at, and you can go straight there if you feel like it.” With that, he put on his big, cheesy grin-which looked quite awkward on an Amarrian-and disappeared back into the darkness in front of her. Abby doubted that the gap housed any quarters, it was probably vents and machinery of some sort.
“Well now what do I do,” Abby posed to herself. She had been planning on going back to the system she was based out of for her piracy and going back to sitting around, waiting for those few who were unfortunate enough to get caught. But now she wasn't so sure, would she give up her lone wolf reputation at 'home' and go meet people and have more fun killing many a ship, or would she stay, keep her rep and stay the unfriendly pirate she had been for the past month? She decided to go back to the docking area and think about it over night. By that time, the rig modifications would be complete and she would be able to leave at a moments notice. She came out of the cold, dank hallway into the main thoroughfare. She was getting hungry but her only ISK was digital, and since she was a capsuleer, she was not allotted a credit disc due to her temporary time on the station.
When she got back to her quarters, she laid down on her bed. Her pod casing perched on the wall across from her. She started drifting to sleep as she laid there, thinking about the past few hours. She thought of the mysterious pirate, the offer to join him and his friends. The realisation that these people had also destroyed her ship once before. She'd think more about it as she dreamt. She was certain she'd have an answer in the morning. She looked at the clock on the wall to her left, 02:00. Not a bad bed time for such a strange day.
So, this is just a little something I did for my fiction writing class. I'm hoping to expand it, like, a lot. Next saturday I'll ACTUALLY be in game for a bit, so that'll be fun. Later!