Kaye

Kaye saluted after handing back the comm pad, having signed for the shipment. The warrant officer blinked at her stupidly for a moment, as though unsure what to do in response before returning the salute. “Riiight. so you takes the delivery to the station on the manifest . . . no opening it up mind you. They like to be sure their ‘vegetables’ stay fresh.” He seemed to find this very funny and sniggered to himself for a moment.

She squinted at the pad and said. “This is not one of our usual stops.”

“Not your job to be asking questions, Missy. You just makes the deliveries like a good little cadet.” He sniggered again and turned with a wave that distantly resembled another salute.

Kaye, after a moments hesitation returned it with one so crisp it almost made her cuffs snap in response to the movement. She returned to the ship and was en-route within five minutes. The Sigil glided through warp space as she ran standard system checks and recorded each detail in the log fastidiously. It irked her to not double check the cargo as per standing orders but the specific ones to this mission forbade that.

Clearing the last gate into the destination system was a new experience for her as this was the first time she had been outside of Amarr space. It didn’t look different but the local communications network was lit up with at least three different fleet callsigns. She double checked her logs but there were no combined maneuvers expected for this region.

The comm crackled once more. [I say again. Give her to me and nobody needs to get hurt.] The comm listed the speaker as Mike Azariah, she triggered an info check on him as the visual snapped on and the reply came across in both audio and visual. {You are outmatched this time and as you can see, she is here and staying with me.}

The screen showed a morbidly obese man holding a slavers leash which terminated around the neck of a woman whose eyes were glazed over. She wore loose silks of a classic slaver image. The man tugged on the leash and triggered the electronics within it, the woman writhed in pain for a moment but the eyes stayed glassy and the face did not change. {Tell Mr. Azariah you are staying with me.}

{I am staying with my master.} She said in a wooden voice. {Please. Go.} The last held a hint of emotion which ended with another tug of the leash and her dropping to the floor in pain whispering to herself.

Kaye’s face twisted with disgust as she realized the source of the visual was from her destination station. She called up an image in the database and saw that this spineless thing with the leash in his hands was her local contact. She triggered the audio to be relayed throughout the ship and left the autopilot in charge as she raced back to the hold.

[You are a dead man.] Azariahs voice was the calm that held his rage in check. [I don’t care how much of a fleet you place between us, I am coming for her, and for you. As for the rest of you. Ladies, gentlemen. Your Empress has forbidden the practices this man flaunts before you. Has he so bought your souls that you will stand in my way?]

#We have our orders. You are an outlaw in Amarr space# Kayes head spun as she recognized the voice of her commanding officer. She swiftly cracked open the case of ‘vegetables’ and stared down at the vials of drugs in cold packs. Boosters, mind wipers, it was a cornucopia of every pharmaceutical she knew of and many she had no idea what they were.

[We are not in Amarr space. I am begging you, stand down and leave this between me and him.]

{Enough chit chat. You have your orders, people. Miss Dom and I shall watch as you kill this outlaw and you will continue to be paid and supplied.} A slight pause was followed by a very cold command. {Fire}

The autopilot chimed as they left warp and Kaye ran back to see that she was now a fat target in a very heated battle. Blues all around her were pouring laser fire at a single cruiser that raced to close the distance then danced back as its shields flared. One red target, then six. He had popped drones that began to fire without moving. The cruiser looped about as two frigates from the Amarr fleet melted under the fire. Then the drones were scooped up again and Azariah was on the move.

In spite of herself Kaye watched the battle and found that she was cheering on both sides. The Amarr fleet moved with the precision that made her heart sing yet the Ishtar kept just out of reach and slammed one ship after another if they came too close. Space was littered with wrecks in the space of half an hour and she began to mount rescue operations, snagging pod after pod as her ship slid between ravening beams and drones that passed her yet never targeted her.

Never did Azariah fire on a pod nor would he give chase when ships pulled away from the combat. It took the better part of an hour until there were only two ships left still moving in the area. His and hers. Five Ogres orbited his ship like hounds tugging at their leads. [Do you need assistance?]

She jumped as she realized he was speaking to her. “Shouldn’t you be shooting me, or something?”

A snort was her answer then the Ogres spun away from the pair of them and headed for the station. [If you will excuse me, I have one last piece of business to attend to.]

“Wait!” She spoke without thinking, hoping what she was doing would be the right thing to say. “I need your guns for a moment.” Her hold manifest appeared in her minds eye and she initiated an jettison. The ‘vegetables’ left the hold with a whooosh. “If you could make sure this is not salvageable?”

There was a pause as his ship closed the distance swifter than she would have thought possible. A beam swept the jetcan and then Azariah answered. [They won’t thank you for this, ma’am.]

“no, I expect this will go poorly for my career.” She was almost speaking to herself. “is it hard, going solo?’

[Yes and no. But if you ever find yourself too alone send word. I would recommend you find yourself a corp that thinks like you do. That always makes the rest easier.”] His guns spoke briefly and the drugs were vapor spreading in space.

She sighed and set her course back for Amarr space, not staying to see how this ended. She was fairly sure the damsel would be rescued. “After all, I suppose he rescued me . . . ”

The charges against her were numerous and she was drummed out of the service in a very quiet trial. On her first day, weeks later, as a civilian she was notified that her ship was ready for her in docking bay. Curious as to what ship was being referred to she went down to the bays and saw a Sigil floating there. Just inside the entryway was the slavers leash, It was tightly coiled and had blood upon it. Beside the leash was a small hand written note. “Thank you”

She hung the leash beside the door and touched it with a gentle hand before entering her ship and setting a course for her new life.

*************************

Lessons

The three character slots are so you can try different tacks with your play style. I have but one account but now there will be two storylines playing out, here.

Drone control is essential. Make sure YOU are the one calling the targets, not the Drones

But leave them aggressive so if you get jammed bad things will still happen to the bad guys.

mike

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