|Trust and Tribulations
Author: Grushdeva PM
A capsuleer has it all. Immortality, wealth beyond measure and power rivaling nations. But what happens when one is forced to protect a mere mortal?Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 7 - Words: 21,158 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 03-21-12 - Published: 11-29-11 - id: 7594723
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Diclaimer: EVE Online is owned by CCP and i claim ownership of nothing except the storyline.
The Gallente station was pleasant enough on the eye. Lots of light green and blue colors and swooping lines making the station seem more like the metal had grown into place rather than formed by human hands. Lots if indirect lighting and subtle music playing in the background, barely audible over the bustle of the crowds. Its main corridor ran the length of the station from the main docking and trading port straight across the spine of the station to the cheaper working and living quarters of the more common station inhabitants and maintenance crews. They could be seen outside as large "hoops" that rotated the central spine. Forgoing the usual, but expensive, graviton plating for the cheaper solution of creating gravity by rotation. The corridor itself was massive, stretching upwards for several dozen decks and at least three hundred meters wide. Then again it needed to be this large as thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people moved along this corridor daily. All along the sides you could see more people shuffling along the many balconies and outcropping terraces. There was even an artificial sky to make the whole thing seem more natural, as if willing people to forget they were actually on a space station. Most people just went along their business, some were traders there just for a deal or to pick up a transport, but most lived on the station. The maintenance and security personnel on and off duty, the scientists and support staff working for the Federation Navy. The Navy owned this station and many more like and unlike it throughout Gallente space. It was busy, but still everything moved relatively smooth. The background music that hummed through the station seemed to complement the sound of the bustling crowds. Organized chaos, definitely a Gallente station.
Amidst the moving crowds one Amarrian walked at a quick pace, knowing exactly where he was heading. He seemed in his early thirties, dressed sharply in a black suit set off with silver patterns, short black hair and a neatly trimmed beard. His oddly blue eyes seemed to not be seeing the station at all. But he cut through the crowds with ease, his pace never faltering and never slowing. The people seemed to just move out of the way under his gaze. Something told them not to cross him, that something was off.
"How right they are."
The Amarrian thought as he moved along. He had not felt truly human for quite a long time. He was a capsuleer, an immortal. He had died countless times during his life, only to have his pod "flash" his brain nanoseconds before actual death. In an instant all who he was, was digitized and sent over dozens of light years to a station he had specified. Have the data downloaded through numerous implants into a freshly cloned body just waiting for him. To him, he simply woke up in a medical clinic, showered and moved on. Business as usual. Even in a station walking around like a normal person he could not truly die. His implants already made it very hard to truly kill a him at all and even if you did manage it the flash device had been improved after its first true use in the capsuleer pods. The enormous wealth the capsuleers had gathered they had put to good use. With nearly unlimited funding being poured into it a portable flash device had been made for use by capsuleers. When used in combination with the standard capsuleer implants it gave the same functionality as its pod bound cousin, just at a substantially higher price. But for all his wealth, implants and immortality, in many ways he was still only a man. A man with an appointment to keep and, as he recalled the faces of two men from his memory implant, a man who was being followed.
He had expected it, every pod pilot that left the capsuleer only decks on a station was followed. Concord kept a close eye on capsuleers in empire space as best they could. He had no room for visitors on this appointment though. He quickly took a sharp right and headed for a service tunnel while he linked into the station network with his neural implant. Every capsuleer came standard equipped with an AI to help make sense of the data flood in a ship link. But out of pod it could be used for quite a few other things. He linked with his AI through the network and confirmed Aura was still running the standard Concord electronic surveillance in a circle. Odd, that meant this wasn't Concord. He linked into the local security camera footage, having his neural implant cross reference all the faces his ocular implant made out in the crowd with the image of the two, it was child splay to pick them out of the crowd. He quickly analyzed there movements after he had changed direction and noted another one moving in an inverted triangle around him. One on the right, one on the left and one behind him. A tight formation that they kept to rigidly. Definitely not thugs. He noted side arms and stun rods amongst their clothes, but no rifles or any other heavy firepower. He cross referenced their faces with the station database and soon found there ID's. All men were registered with the Gallente Navy, no ranks or current designation though. Which meant false ID's. False ID's linked to the Navy meant black ops.
This was a standard surveillance crew, not meant for direct conflict. He logged himself out of the system as he reached the service tunnel. His implants broke through the lock encryption in less than a second and he kept on walking as the door opened and closed behind him. Inwardly he smiled, paying for good implants paid off. He took another right and called down an elevator, selecting a random floor the elevator shot off and soon left that floor behind.
Several seconds later the surveillance crew showed up at the same elevators. Using Navy override codes they quickly figured out which floor the elevator was heading and soon followed suit. As their elevator closed and shot of in pursuit of his one, he stepped out of the shadowy corner he had been standing in. For the first time today he showed some outward expression as he uncharacteristically chuckled.
"That trick never fails."
He thought, as he started backtracking to the last juncture. He was nearing his destination now and chose to stick to the service tunnel for the last stretch. After another five hundred meters the service tunnel ended and opened up to a quiet side passage off the main corridor. He took a right and soon saw his destination appear to the left of him. A simple quiet restaurant. It was set up with an old style, with actual wooden furniture. Mixing Amarr colors, with gold and silver lining complementing the wood and brown, but keeping the flowing natural look from Gallente design. Checking his internal chronometer he found that he was exactly on time and entered the restaurant. As the doors hissed open he headed for a table in the corner already taken by a relatively short blue haired lady. She smiled as she turned to face him and took a sip of her tea. "Cyber, good to see you again." Cyber gave her a small smile as he sat down.
"Always a pleasure Lena. I got here as soon as I got your message."
Her face turned serious at that. "Yeah, thanks for that." She looked up at him meeting his eyes. "I have a problem and a favor to ask."
That got Cyber's attention. Lena was one of the few people in his life he considered friends. They had been doing business for years. She was quite the optimist, but with good reason. She and her sisters were all capsuleers and set up a successful business running logistics, production and research for all manner of items, modules and ships. They were quick, always got what he needed and as far as he could remember had never once said something was impossible to get. His first thought was that something had gone wrong with a transport.
"Does this… issue have anything to do with our normal business?" Cyber asked.
She looked a bit taken aback by the question. Giving him a look as if saying, like i would ever have a problem with that. "Of course not, replacement parts, ammo and the normal ships and load outs have already been delivered to the normal drop offs as well as the requested boosters. Though I must admit the specialty ship you requested took some time to get, people generally don't like to let go of something like that."
"I knew you could handle it. ISK transfer is automated upon delivery as always. So what's the problem then?" If it wasn't business then it was personal and he knew Lena didn't like having to ask other people for help, even him. If it was personal that went doubly so, which meant this was big enough and very important to her. He watched her wring her hands together staying silent for a bit as she arranged her thoughts.
Trust was far and few between in the world of capsuleers, Cyber knew that all too well, but he trusted her and as far as he knew she trusted him. So he waited, she would ask if she wanted to and then he would listen. Pushing her served no purpose other than annoying her and they knew each other for too long for that. But he had to admit, he had never seen Lena nervous before. Couple that with the Navy trailing him earlier for no apparent reason, he was getting a bad feeling off this.