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blankseplocked Blackjack [FICTION CONTEST ENTRY]
 
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Ethan Bellator
Taggart Transdimensional
Posted - 2011.03.17 20:51:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Ethan Bellator on 17/03/2011 21:48:59
A story I wrote for Silver Night's contest. Will post it in the next couple of posts to keep it organized.

Ethan Bellator
Taggart Transdimensional
Posted - 2011.03.17 20:55:00 - [2]
 

The bass of the club's music was pounding, creating a pulse to the room. The people inside were moving to it, with only a select few missing steps and making fools of themselves. The women danced, the men danced, the drinks were taken in shots, and this party fueled everyone. Everyone moved, everyone made their presence known in their own way.

Including the men with the rifles.

There were two of them, making the wrong motions through the rave. Their steps, their twists, their turns seemed to be as if sweeping a room for hostiles instead of dancing. Despite the differences in their attire and motion, none of the ravers seemed to notice. It would appear, that they were being ignored.

Not a soul noticed, except for one Civire.

This man was dancing with finesse, the bass pumping his adrenaline and blood as the others around him had been. His attire was in sharp contrast to the others: he was wearing combat gear while everyone else was wearing some variation of light-emitting jeans and a white shirt. The pulsing colors made skin and fabric alike glow. The one man who didn't glow was the Civire.

He saw the men with rifles, and he made eye contact with them as the bass of the song dropped.
It picked up, and it shot into a hardstyle track that played with a ferocity. His suit unfolded its helmet to the tune of the club, and the men approached him with their guns down. Still dancing, the solitary man looked through his helmet at the heat signatures of these men. Scanning them down, he knew all he needed to know about them.

Left man: Minmatar, unamused at the music.

Right man: Gallente, familiar with the tune.

Their steps told him what he needed to know. Being of the same career they were, he knew exactly what they wanted. The only one that could have been a problem was the Gallentean, but that was because that soldier probably used to attend raves.

“DJ, you know the drill. Two of them this time. Give me a good mix.” The lone wolf's voice whispered. The DJ flexed his fingers across the turntables in response, bringing any familiarity to a close as he scratched out of the hardstyle and brought forth something a little slower, but with more funk. Something that elicited dance moves, but you would have needed to know the tune to get it.

Or, as our loner did, just know the DJ.

The first one, the Minmatar, wasted no time. He came straight at the dancer, who the DJ had pointed out in the crowd. To the rest of the drug-addled attendees, this would seem predetermined. Arranged. As if these three men were bored enough to put on a show just for them.

Being tackled didn't cause the Civire to miss a beat, as the DJ dropped the bass. As the bass kicked even harder, the Caldari threw the Minmatar off of him and did a rolling leap onto the Gallentean's body. He flipped the man through a table, and spun around to catch the recovering Minmatar's head with a boot as the distortion of the track started. Each scratch of the distortion effect caused another punch at the Minmatar, and every bass kick threw a boot to the Gallentean. The Civire's movements were impossible to predict to all but the crowd around him. They knew his moves, and he knew theirs.

The track broke into a slow spindown and the rhythm resumed with a faster pace after an almost complete stop.
The armor-clad Caldari performed a shuffle with his feet, their soles seemingly sliding to the Minmatar who now held a pistol at his opponent. The music built up, preparing for a climactic bass drop. Time slowed, it would seem. The music made the Minmatar hesitate, and the bass resumed with an explosion that shook the very station they were on as the Minmatar fell from the Caldari's sweeping kick.

The Gallentean charged over the Civire, using the dancer's shoulder as a springboard to leap over him and stand between two now fighting men. Throwing a punch, the Gallentean caught the Caldari and made him miss a step.

Ethan Bellator
Taggart Transdimensional
Posted - 2011.03.17 20:58:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: Ethan Bellator on 17/03/2011 21:07:08
Edited by: Ethan Bellator on 17/03/2011 20:58:24
“You shouldn't have done that,” He whispered, and the DJ cut the track allowing this man to be heard, “I never miss a step.”

The Gallentean's stance relaxed mildly, revealing the slight fear he held. The music kicked with the Caldari, folding the Gallentean under the stress of all the stimuli around him as the Civire grabbed the stunned fighter's head. The Caldari unfolded his helmet, grabbed a random glass from a table, and threw it back. He exercised every bit of power his body and suit could muster at once, and threw the Gallentean into the crowd. They caught him, and served as ropes that bordered a boxing ring as they launched him straight into the Caldari's fist. His response chained into a series of punches and kicks that resembled a Gallentean shuffle. The crowd cheered, and the speakers around them rumbled in reply.
Another break happened in the track, and the crowd cheered as the Civire stopped and bowed. The Gallentean had been two-stepped, running-manned, and otherwise shuffled over to his compatriot and the both of them laid on a broken table. The DJ threw his hands up in the air, aimed a spotlight at the brawler, and bowed.

********


Hours later, the Civire sat in his employer's office, waiting for the bastard to explain to him why he was needed badly enough to call him after coming back from a rave. While normally known for their discipline and contempt for generally Gallentean pastimes, Jack liked raves more than anything when he wasn't getting shot at. They were worth the money and effort to attend, and the dancing served as a warmup for every day; hired thugs or not. Good thing he picked a system the capsuleers liked to trade in, otherwise these raves would have been a lot more scarce. Dodixie was quite a welcome place to have a floating night club sitting an AU from the Fed-Navy station.

A door opened, and Jack turned around in the cushy office chair.

“Jack, you son of a...” the suit walking in said. Straightening his tie with displeasure, “That was a party I was fundraising from.”

“What, were you trying to scam people into buying stock of some company desperate to save the rare lesbian seagulls of some sector of wormhole space?” Jack put his shoulders on the desk, taking the role of the interviewer in this conversation, “Come on Eli, you know better than to use a rave for that.”

“You are to address me as 'Mr. Wallace' if you're going to use my chair and my role as your own.”

“And you were supposed to be on the ground back in the Sansha's raids. But no, somebody had to go become a businessman and turn straight-and-narrow. Besides, it isn't like you'd bother addressing me by my last name.”

“Because, Jack,” Eli's displeasure was apparent now, “For all I know it could be something ridiculous, like Rouvenore, or maybe you want to be called Jack Sarum and enrage all of the Amarrians you meet by claiming to be some illegitimate grandson or some **** like that!”

“Hell, Eli, you caught me red-handed. I am an illegitimate heir to the Amarrian throne,” Jack chuckled, the scars on his face making his mocking expression even more intense, “And you're a bloody pod-pilot.”

“Shut it! I called you here today for one matter, and one matter alone. We can talk smack later.”

“I was hoping you'd get to that, as I was running out of jokes.”

“I've been contracted by a capsuleer,” Eli said, only to trail off as Jack held his hand up.

“I don't talk to eggs, and I don't work for them.”

“This one is paying substantial ISK.”

“What? Our definition of substantial or his?”

“Hers.”

“Oh, so it's a woman? I didn't think the bloody eggs had genders.”

“Oh yes, they do. Now, she wants you on her ship as she makes a courier run.”

Ethan Bellator
Taggart Transdimensional
Posted - 2011.03.17 21:05:00 - [4]
 

“Bull, shenanigans, whichever term you're used to now.”

“There is no such thing here. She has some very important cargo, and there are people who would really, really want it. Her corporation wants you.” Eli pulled up a holographic image of a Jin Mei woman, her face holding beauty. Chances were, however, that she didn't look like that when she was balled up and shoved in that eggshell, though.

“How did they know about me?” A passive shrug left Jack's shoulders.

“She wrote in the mail that she liked your dancing.”

“What?” Jack's eyebrows twisted, and he widened his eyes.

“And the two thugs whose ass you kicked were her former employees.”

“Oh,” Jack rubbed his chin.

“Now, she wants you in hangar twelve in thirty minutes. She'll have your equipment there.”

“Am I being told what guns I can shoot?!” Jack stood up, punching the desk. His shift from confusion to rage was sudden, causing Eli to flinch. However, he resumed a normal stance and then leaned forward to meet Jack's angry stare with a stare that said 'I own you.'

“Yes, you are. And for the two hundred million ISK you're getting paid, your ass is going to take it with a smile.” Jack slumped into the chair, and sputtered his lips.

“Jeeze, Eli. I sure hope that half of it is paid now.” He leaned forward, and began playing with his thumbs.

“It is, why?”

“That's a lot for one guy to cover the inside of... What kind of ship?”

“A cruiser. Moa. From what I understand, it's the same model as the one you used to serve on. Shouldn't be hard.”

“You and I both know that won't be the case. Where is it going?”

“Old Man Star.”

********


Shouldn't be hard, my ass.

Jack sat on the other side of a crate, checking the weapon he was given. It was a modular weapon, with the only part that didn't change being the stock. With a press of a button, it would compact and fold into whatever he wanted. It had a close-quarters mode, with an assault rifle primary fire and a shotgun secondary. It had long-range equipment on another mode with a Gauss rifle and a secondary fire of antimatter bullets. And the third mode, Jack was told not to screw with.

But, these things didn't matter much. Eli was now in his combat armor, helmet unfolded over his head and several hostiles in the cargohold with him. The only thing he knew was that these guys were brutally efficient. There was a janitor on board. Jack and this weirdo had been playing cards, and when the man got up to take a leak, a bullet passed through his head and shot the queen of diamonds sitting on the table. Ironically enough, it had Empress Sarum's face on it.

This proved one thing: they sure as Hell weren't standard plunderers with that marksmanship.
Jack threw a flashbang over the box, and switched his view to thermal. The helmet filled his ears with foam, and as soon as the stun-grenade went off, he jumped over the box. Landing on one soldier, Jack pulled a knife off his chestplate and crammed it through the unfortunate visor of his foe. He took the man's SMG and fired in a sweeping motion at the others' legs. He rolled to the side as their pained reaction sent bullets everywhere, stopping behind a guard railing.

He looked over, and saw the other three soldiers had fallen down, and were struggling to regain their balance. He rushed in, firing his assault rifle in bursts at each of their heads. Staggering, they all fell to the ground. Now the boarding craft was a problem. An explosive drone came charging at him, its detonator ringing as it approached a target. Jack charged it, and punted it back to the craft it just left.

The explosion happened, and Jack lost balance. He was sliding towards the breached hull, vacuum grabbing the other four bodies in the room and launching them towards the nearby stargate.

Ethan Bellator
Taggart Transdimensional
Posted - 2011.03.17 21:11:00 - [5]
 

“What the Hell is going on in there?!” The Jin Mei shouted from her pod. Jack went hand-over-fist on the various wires running through the cargohold, and found a repair module's activation console. He struggled to open the box, and punched madly into the console after opening it. He didn't care to notice the two cards smacking onto his visor and obstructing his view, he just cared to seal a breach.

“As soon as this breach is sealed, jump! Don't ask any questions! Get to your god-damned station and pay me before I ask for a raise!”

The breached hull sealed shut, and suddenly Jack felt his body stretching apart and then being shot forward with such a ferocious speed that it felt like his stomach was still in Villore when the ship materialized in Old Man Star.

Unfolding his helmet, he vomited over the console he was smacking at, and wiped his mouth with the back of his right hand. What was all this trouble over, anyways? Surely it had to be something pretty important to warrant such a fuss that CONCORD even refused to bother. Looking at the ground he was now laying on, he saw the cards. He picked them up, and inspected them. They were an ace and a jack, both of spades.

“Blackjack... Cute.”

“Hull breach! All non-capsuleer passengers please find an escape pod and prepare to jettison.” AURA's computerized voice spoke into the loudspeakers. Jack slipped the two cards into his armor's leg-pouch, and looked to see one of the blast doors being cut open. Switching to the rifle, he scoped down the door and eased his finger on the trigger while remaining on the floor. The prone position would prove very profitable with this gun.

The sparks hit the floor, and stopped. It would only be three seconds before they kicked in that door. Well, that was how Jack was trained.

Three.

Two.

One.

Jack pulled the trigger, and the antimatter round slammed into cut bulkhead and exploded on the new set of intruders. Four died, but six still remained.

Great, they learned about safety in numbers... Jack thought to himself. He kept the sniper out, pegging three of them down. However, it took four shots. The first round was a basic round, which had no effect except making them angry. It took high explosives to break through their armor. Bullets tore through the air past Jack's head. These guys were tough, that was for sure. He had only one more antimatter charge left, but there were two of the troopers left. He fired one of the soldiers down, and switched to the first mode to charge the other as his helmet folded up and fully encased his head. Assault rifle fire spraying his opponent, Jack threw himself over the boxes between them and tackled his new foe. They traded punches, and the intruder grabbed Jack by the neck and launched him back over the boxes. Landing against the precious cargo with his rifle, the Caldari's view blurred.

“That's one helluva throw...”

Ethan Bellator
Taggart Transdimensional
Posted - 2011.03.17 21:14:00 - [6]
 

The soldier drew a knife, and its blade lit up with a lining of plasma. It was obvious this guy really wanted to kill Jack. There really was only one option left at this point, so to Hell with being told not to. A minor dock in two hundred million ISK couldn't hurt him that badly. Considering his lifestyle was pretty cheap, he was sure he could afford what he was about to do.

He grabbed his rifle, switched it to the third mode, and it expanded its stock around his arm and a computer screen popped up on the side. It read “PRIMED.” Jack wrapped his right hand's fingers around its trigger, and with his left hand gave his rival an archaic hand gesture that only persevered due to its ease of use. After all, it only required one finger.

The gun rumbled, and time seemed to slow as it fired an intense blast of plasma into the trooper. The soldier vanished under the intensity of the blast, and Jack threw the gun down as it turned white hot. Thankfully for Jack, his armor was somewhat heat resistant. It wouldn't hurt much after a trip to the doctor to get it patched up.

But that didn't stop him from shouting obscenities now.

********


Back in Dodixie, Jack slumped into a chair in the club he started his week in, rubbing his face as some crappy DJ tried to win the crowd over. Jack's phone rang, and he folded his armor's helmet over his head to listen in privacy.

“What?” He spat.

“It's Eli. You remember that cargo you were helping carry?”

“Yea, why?”

“Well, funds cleared.”

“Did you ever find out what I was guarding?”

“Let's just say it was worth the two hundred million ISK in collector's value alone.”

“Was I almost shot up for a trinket?!”

“More like music. A whole library of music from a wrecked ship found in wormhole space. It held music from when the EVE Gate was active.”

“You're joking?”

“I sent it to that DJ you like. He named it after you.”

“Really?”

“Listen.”

The DJ Jack knew stepped up, and smiled a little bit wider than he normally did. The bass rumbled the station, and Jack grinned as the DJ shouted the name of it to the crowd.

“Blackjack!”

========================


Well, that's it. Do tell me what you think! I'm eager to get up to a speed where I can compete in contests like this a lot more often. Well, if this gets popular enough maybe I'll write a little more about Blackjack. I guess we'll see, right?

Rhapsodyy
Posted - 2011.04.04 21:26:00 - [7]
 

Loved it :)

Great read, good fun loved this bit made me chuckle :)

Originally by: Ethan Bellator


Left man: Minmatar, unamused at the music.

Right man: Gallente, familiar with the tune.




Love the whole character of blackjack, could just imagine him embroiled in more contracts, and trouble, with "eggs" :)


 

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