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Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2010.09.08 19:20:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Jade Constantine on 11/09/2010 13:29:16

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And there she was just like the holovids, sitting easily on a barstool and talking loudly, animated gestures, face a little flushed in the smoke and noise of this workers-bar and a patched and battered flight jacket wrapped around her shoulders as she turned to meet his eyes across the room with perception enhanced by the nanotech systems worked into the gallente facial tattoos across her olive-hued and delicate half-caste features.

He froze a little internally for here was the face of the greatest foe of Amarrian Imperialism in the star cluster, notorious anarchist murderess, combat pilot, organizer, black ops specialist and fire-starter serving a baffling ideology about liberation and exodus that wanted to change ... well everything.

Here sitting like an ordinary person, cradling a cheap cocktail flute and sharing jokes and stories with the blue-collar dockworkers of Ishukone 10-2 and laughing without a care in the world. Perfect illusion at least, but he wasn’t born yesterday.

A quick scan of the bar showed others of the anarchist movement obvious in their lack of uniform; no corporate tags, no stateside patches, their jackets with flashes of colour and defiant styles, drinking like their more obvious comrade but attentive, well positioned with fields of fire, eyes travelling through arcs and egress like the professionally-trained killers they were.

The illicit bounties, loyalist murder contracts, terminate and capture jobs and assorted flash assault memetics spinning through his periphery vision looked a mite less compelling in the supra-visual IR band framed by the targeting systems of a half dozen custom maser pistol sights converging on this face and vitals.

Yet the laughter continued and Constantine was finishing her pitch to the third watch longshoremen, and handshakes and backslapping the briefest whisper of words to the ear of the supervisor while a roll of illegal currency disappeared into the coverall pocket. She was talking about money, individual wealth, opportunity, no-taxes, independence, but mostly money. Apparently she understood the audience ... perfectly.

The moment passed and she stood up, making her farewells and beckoning him to a booth a little back from the bar now, corner position, easily covered by the flanks; but the bulkheads of station-grade ceramusteel would protect them from anti personnel explosions from the atrium. Strange to see a capsuleer so concerned for the physical, perhaps she really did believe in the vulnerability of the parallel consciousness in subjective application. But in any case the running commentary from his combat-tactics wetware AI was becoming superfluous so he toggled it off with a thought.

“Thank you for coming personally, I like to see a little courage in the contractors I employ.”

Her voice was perfectly calm and professional now, no hint of the raucous laughter seconds earlier. She sat opposite with hands on the table, eyes on his, her skin returning to neutral shades and a single glance to the tubular autohost as it brought a pair of tumblers and poured measures of good Caldari whiskey to sit between them like a prize or stake to be claimed in the conversation to follow.

“You have reviewed my requirements I imagine? My comrades have provided all data at our command and once terms are signed we will release the encryption codes. I do apologize in advance that neither the terms nor expectations are negotiable on this occasion. Politics is politics and demands a little sense of compromise to make progress, but matters of the heart? In these things we must address the faith of perfection and push ourselves beyond worldly limitations as we dare to dream.”

Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2010.09.08 19:23:00 - [2]
 

Edited by: Jade Constantine on 11/09/2010 13:39:53

Internally he reviewed the mission brief, and she was right to address the specificity of the terms. It was frankly ... eccentric. It made no sense to a practical man but it paid well, very well in fact. But you don’t get to be rich without a little curiosity and he wanted to show no fear in this conversation.

“Will you tell me why at least? Why this ship? Why not simply rebuild and replace from your own yards. We can do what you ask of course, but it will be many times more expensive, it will risk life and limb which you are amply compensating of course, but I would like to understand ... why.”

She sat back a little, whiskey tumbler still untouched and produced a cigarette from a silver case palmed exquisitely from her jacket.

“Do you mind?”

“Of course not”

“Thank you.”

Setting the case on the table, she lit the cigarette from a ridiculously over-engineered pen-sized fusion torch that projected a blue flame-jet in perfect mathematical shape in absolute silence as thin wisps of smoke escaped her lips as the anarchist took a draw and sat back behind the haze and glowing tip of the cigarette.

“That’s quite a lighter”

“Comes in handy you know.”

“For cutting palladium girders?”

“And cutting the index fingers from quislings.”


Silence, he was a little shocked and saw the coldness in her eyes then, for long moments his blood chilled and he reviewed the payment options alongside the wisdom of involving himself and corporation with this woman.

Then she blew out a smoke ring and smiled and whispered:

“Joking, it is for cutting holes in doorways though, I do hate locked places.”

Another drag on the cigarette and then she set it down delicately on the case, perfectly aligned with the fusion-torch, both politely angled away from his body.

“But your question is a fair one and I will answer. You are quite correct, the Fraction operates capital yards at full capacity and we could simply build another ship of this class in a matter of days."

Another puff of smoke, her features relaxing as she talks passionately now.

"I told you about the difference between love and politics before. When I sit with my lover I could simply snap my fingers and have our drinks delivered and prepared by a drone, but instead I stand, I crush the ice, I mix the shakers, I pour measures to human approximations of perfection and I enjoy the liquor a million times more.

And this vessel, the one I want you to recover for me, was a gift. “La Reine le Veut” was more than a ship; it was an act of love, an exchange of faith. It was beautiful, because it was given in a time of beauty to affirm a love I didn’t think possible before.”


He watched her expression as she spoke of the unnamed lover and saw the coldness of her joke of mutilation replaced by deeper thoughts if anything more unsettling yet.

“Can I ask how it came to be lost?”

“The details will be in the files if you agree to the contract, but I will tell you it was lost in battle, an unwise fight, and a pointless skirmish in nullsec that achieved nothing of note or lasting memory. Few even remember the name of the engagement or the entities striving there today.”

He made a move to take up the whiskey tumbler from the middle ground of the table and paused, still thinking, disarmed by her candour.

“Was she killed in that engagement Lady?”

Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2010.09.08 19:26:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: Jade Constantine on 11/09/2010 13:42:10

“No, in truth she died months before, the pilot of the vessel was a husk breathing but not alive as you and I would understand the word.”

He touched the tumbler, and pushed the other across the table wanting to break the mood now.

“I still don’t understand why it is so important.”

“Have you ever been in love monsieur?”


Now he paused, thinking momentarily and taken by a sudden urge to lie to gain some what? Credibility? Senseless, what did it really matter?

“No, not really.”

Finally she took up the other tumbler and raised the glass in a toast meeting his eyes,

“So do we have a deal?“

Doubts were difficult to dismiss but he was a businessman first and foremost and this was very good business. Setting his shoulders and feeling concern now for doing the right job he nodded his assent and raised the second glass to meet her toast.

“We do.”

“Excellent. I will decrypt operational sensitive files within a few minutes. You understand of course that failure would be personally-disappointing to me?”

“We won’t fail.”

“Then we will both prosper from this arrangement.”


They clinked tumblers and drank the liquor in mutual salute and signal of a contract made and neither could entirely hide the grimace at the industrial-grade whiskey straight from Heth’s export refineries and sold by license in the Ishukone bars.

“This is terrible.”

She nodded and coughed politely still making a disgusted face at the taste herself.

“Maybe you could use that fusion-cutter to convince the management to consider more liberal supply partners in the interests of free trade and illicit profits ms Constantine?”

Her eyes were suddenly cold again.

“Don’t joke about that monsieur; I’d hate to see you mistaken for a statist collaborator when the changes come to Huola. Many of these men have lost family and loved ones already to the provosts and the Amarrian secret police and you really don’t want to get confused with the agents of hierarchy when the revolution comes.”

“I apologize, I spoke ... unwisely.”

She nodded briefly, but the warmth did not reappear in her eyes.

“I understand. Now go and make the preparations please, I will expect regular updates. Do this thing for me and you will be rewarded as we have agreed.”

He stood then, looking down at the woman across the booth as she recovered her cigarette and perceived the flickering of pupils indicative of silent communication with the station infonet.

“I really didn’t mean anything by it.”

She waited a long moment, taking another breath of smoke before tapping away the ash into her discarded tumbler.

“Few people do, it is how tyranny functions: we are dehumanized and led to the rationalization that nothing is personal, nothing really impacts our soul. It is how we justify acts of cruelty and betrayal, it is all practicality and subjective compromise, we justify our petty evils as reflecting the society we live in, we are never to blame, it was all ... the fault of our parents and schooling, our nation and its distant leaders, the call of nationalism and the objectification of human life. How quickly we can turn to the worship of power and its abuse when we convince ourselves that nothing is really personal.”

“Look, I really didn’t mean it. I was joking too, alright?”

And now she stands and offers her hand, warm and human and face alive again with a half smile.

“Just recover the ship monsieur, and next time we drink at this bar let us hope the tyrants have been driven out and the people will rejoice their freedom with a better taste in whiskey.”


CCP Navigator


C C P
C C P Alliance
Posted - 2010.09.09 14:16:00 - [4]
 

Moved from IGS to EVE Fiction.

Jake Dreadmore
Caldari
JotunHeim Hird
Ethereal Dawn
Posted - 2010.09.09 18:23:00 - [5]
 

The green is a little hard to read on the brighter backgrounds, but the interchangeable colours were a good idea.

Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2010.09.09 20:34:00 - [6]
 

Originally by: Jake Dreadmore
The green is a little hard to read on the brighter backgrounds, but the interchangeable colours were a good idea.


I know :( I was looking for a decent colour balance that looks okay on the light grey as well.

Minchurra
Caldari
Posted - 2010.09.10 04:17:00 - [7]
 

Green is difficult to read

Limegreen is slightly better

Victor Michaelle
Gallente
Posted - 2010.09.10 13:25:00 - [8]
 

This is a really good read so far.

Lady Spank
Amarr
In Praise Of Shadows
Posted - 2010.09.10 13:54:00 - [9]
 

Edited by: Lady Spank on 10/09/2010 14:01:43
This is almost of squad broken levels of literary quality.

Also since you seem to be out feel free to have some of these for free:

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;::

Syn Callibri
Minmatar
21st Eridani Lighthorse
Posted - 2010.09.13 19:09:00 - [10]
 

Edited by: Syn Callibri on 13/09/2010 19:11:00
Originally by: Lady Spank
Edited by: Lady Spank on 10/09/2010 14:01:43
This is almost of squad broken levels of literary quality.

Also since you seem to be out feel free to have some of these for free:

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;::

^
^
^
^
@ this...

...fail of grammar it is yes. ugh

@ Jade...keep it up, nice read! Wink



Revan Neferis
Amarr
Propaganda Due
Posted - 2010.09.14 05:18:00 - [11]
 

Very nice reading lover, a bit of a shame it was moved to fiction before the actual event at space could be connected though.
I love to read from you, more please! Wink


 

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