Saturday, January 31, 2009

Like Children to a Fly

They're nervous, but I don't blame them. They're in a thinly-shielded transport. They have attracted the attention by one of the more notorious mercenary corporations in the galaxy, and they are hunted by omniscient, immortal sociopaths to whom this ship is like a fly to be poked and dismembered, and the crew just.. blood to be spilled for momentary amusement. I know this because I'm one of those omniscient, immortal sociopaths. My sensors pick up every offhand comment, every mumbled curse and every whispered prayer. They're stuck playing an elaborate cat-and-mouse game, with stakes worth more than the organs and combined incomes of everyone they know.

The sound of directional thrusters reverb through the Silent Whisper as the ship turns towards it's destination. I hear a collective sigh of relief when AURA utters the words: "Warp Drive Active". The Whisper is whisked away from the Caldari stargate and towards the station. The ship is as silent as my pod for a moment, and then the pod becomes the proverbial eye of the storm as the voices of terror fill the ship.

"Enemy Astarte straight ahead! Brace for impact!"
Evasive maneuvers. Activate hardeners and boosters.
"It's deploying drones.. locking us.. firing."
A full volley of blaster bolts strikes the side of the Whisper. Start the microwarpdrive.
"Shields at 50%, 13%"
Realign towards the station. Contact the station and ask for docking clearance.
"Shields gone. Armor at 77%, 33%, 11%.."
"Clearance granted. Welcome to Umokka."
"Attention: Minmatar Prowler-class transport Silent Whisper is now under the protection of the Caldari Navy. Cease your attack or we will take appropriate measures in accordance of the Yulai Convention."

This time, my theatrical exit from the pod is met with a more polarized response than usual. Some are cheering, but I can feel the simmering hate in the air. I can almost hear them ask: "What right do they have to toy with our lives?"

I start walking towards the exit, and address the few crewmembers around me, talking to nobody in particular. I try to keep my voice calm and emotionless.
"I won't be departing today. Replace any and all parts not in perfect working condition. Load the cargo from the hangar and notify me when everything is ready."
"What about the crew?"
I stop, and the simple gesture gets the point across.
"Understood, sir. The Silent Whisper will be ready."

1 comment:

X1376 said...

Yeah. It is such a relief when once dock into safety when under attack. How chilling moments this recalled in me. :)