-Send her in.-
She walked the way she always did, all hips and sway. It tended to distract targets from the fact that she was there for a specific reason, to kill. The room had a circle of light and a small console. The rest of the room was cloaked in shadow and she did not even try to see into it to determine how many people were there with her, she knew better, now.
“Do you know why you are here?”
She smiled. “I assume the usual disciplinary reasons.”
“No. You managed to find a new reason after all this time.”
Her eyebrows rose but she kept silent, waiting.
“You have been taking unrelated targets and putting your team and the missions at risk. Before you give us the stock excuse of ‘doing it on your own time’ understand that you do not have any time of your own.”
She sat at the desk and activated the console. “I was not planning on using that excuse, this time.”
“Nor will we allow you the luxury of identifying the targets as Amarr and therefore ‘fair game’.”
“No, in that direction lies terrorism and/or genocide. I am not that far gone.”
“So what is your reasoning for the recent actions you have taken?”
She tapped a key and the console expanded to be viewed by all. “I was acting in defense of our operations. With funding from this one man we could double our field assets easily and train our agents properly. How much have we received from him?”
“His donation was . . . sizable.” Another voice conceded. “But one donation does not buy your services as a bodygua . . ”
“Who said it was a one time thing? I will bet you he would send double that if we asked. I was not acting as his bodyguard, he had no knowledge that we were even there. As it turns out, he had already left the site and muddied his trail enough to fool the assault team and us.”
“Muddied his trail? Is he an agent? Do we truly know who he works for?”
She laughed. “I spent a week with him and if he is an agent he is so far above us in both skill and pay grade that we might as well act as though he was not. What I know he is: he is on our side when it comes to fighting slavers, he is violently opposed to anything that abrogates a persons free will, he is wealthy but he gives isk out to balance his income, he is a good cook and a he is very loyal to people who he trusts or likes.”
“And he ‘trusts’ you. Why?” The next voice had an oily quality to it that made Frees skin crawl.
She glared into the shadows. “If you asking whether we have a more intimate relationship . . . no. I have no idea why he trusts me, nor I, him. We are friends.”
“Your first week of training you were taught. . .”
“Friends are a weakness that can be exploited. Family, a vulnerability.” I know what was taught but I also remember the last lesson of training. “All the theory in the world will not prepare you for what is really out there. The lessons are guidelines to fall back on, not the holy book to worship.”
Chuckles came from a few sources around her.
“Very well. we will table this for now. Your next mission will take you far enough from him that this should not become an issue.”
She laughed. “The man chases Sansha. Unless you have their travel plans I doubt you know where he will turn up next.”
“Pick up the briefing on the way out.”
She left, walking with a little extra sashay.
Silence filled the room for a moment and then the laughter started.
‘Think she bought it?”
“We’ll know soon enough. But next time don’t push as hard, I was afraid we might lose a perfectly good agent there for a moment.”
“Normally the bait of a honeytrap knows their duty.”
Mike tsked at his balance as the orca lumbered from gate to gate. He opened comms and started monitoring for people filling slots and soon had made a contact.
“Any wardecs I should know about?”
“You have a dec?” The FC asked sharply.
“No, I was wonderin if I needed to know any existing in the fleet.” Mike switched ships as they were talking and linked up his guardian.
“No, we covered all of that.”
“Before I joined, perhaps. Where to, boss?”
Soon the fleet was on the move hunting for Sansha. They were a little short and Mike was sure some of the guns being fired by the battleships were T1. Anytime another fleet challenged them for a site, they lost.
“I gotcha.” Mike drawled as a ship watched is shields evaporate and the armor start to follow.
“Still dropping, need more reps.” The pilot was panicking and Mike looked to see that the dps was spread all over five enemy ships. This was a vanguard, they were not supposed to lose ships in a vanguard. Of course the FC had insisted that eight or nine pilots was ‘good enough’ and they were flying short handed. “Overloading them, keep calm.”
“I am gonna warp out in a second.”
“All reps on ya and full heat blasting.” The target had gone solidly into hull before the reps got a full bite and drove the damage off.
He sighed as they all docked to repair damage. A few more flights and then he could sleep for a bit. Sometimes his own self-imposed rules made it hard as he knew that this was a high risk fleet to fly with. But you dance with the ones that brung ya. He did not jump fleets or shop around. Maybe it was an old-fashioned sense of honor that would have most pilots laughing or pitying him. Maybe.
When is the right time to warp out? Is it players call or FC?
Ever been in a less than optimal fleet?
fly it like you won it