Sunday, 5 February 2012

Fighting the System


Always it comes back to Rens.

I hate the place. The sickly orange glow from the sun and the strange reds of the nebula, looks more like a burlesque house on a grande scale.

Every time I come here I feel the need to clean myself. I may be Minmatar, well, half Minmatar, but I'm also half Amarr. Talk about a conflict. Maybe it's just that part of me that sees the shining golden spires of Amarr in the morning sunlight gleaming that cant' bare to see what the locals call architecture here. Rust, ruin, and degredation. Perhaps this is freedom.

If so, why can't they tidy up?


I hate Rens.

Rens System - Anonymous Wormhole Entrance

The scouts popped out of the whirling maelstrom of the wormhole and scanned the area. One of them aligned and departed while the second took up a position and cloaked. A few minutes later a ship approached, scanned the wormhole and entered. Over the comms the scout heard the confirmation the target had been neutralised. The secound scout returned, took up a position an d waited. Then the all clear was given.

The prow of the providence came through the maelstrom, the golden hull turning a sickly umber in the light of the sun. Behind it came several brutix class battlecruisers, all bearing the markings of the Serpentis. With neolithic slowness the freighter aligned and the trio departed towards their rendevous. Moments later several republic fleet tempests and hurricane decelerated outside the wormhole, under the careful eye of the scout.

Inside a deadspace pocket four cruisers surrounded the remains of a battleship, a capsuleer pod caught in the midst of stasis fields and warp scramblers. The cries of the capsuleer within were being dampened by a powerful jamming signal from one of the nearby frigates which was looting the wreck and performing a salvage operation. With a flash the freighter decelerated fifty klicks away, followed by the brutix. From the bridge Carmilla watched with anger at the wreck. Not that it had been done, but that their base of operations had been located so easily. She sat down and keyed the comms, wincing at the jamming then sending a direct laser comm.
"Nothing much. We caught a raven, it was scanning various pockets and found us by accident. No one else has approached and we are preparing to evacuate."
"Transfer the merchandise from our holds and take it to the stations via the hoarders."
"And the capsuleer?"
She looked at the pod.
"Destroy it. And the body. And the wreck when it's finished. Leave no trace we were ever here."

The freighter docked at the Brutor Tribe Treasury. As ever with Rens a firefight was taking place outside. The local channels were awash with the vibrancy of the capsuleers who considered Rens their home. Dozens of ships bearing the markings from countless corporations and alliances came and went with a monotonous regularity. Traders, mercenaries, pirates with the right connections, all docked at the decaying stations that were the pride of the Minmatar in this region. Constant repairs were being done on them. It wouldn't take a supercarrier to destroy a minmatar station, she mused. A can of glue solvent should do.

As the automatic systems brought the freighter to a halt, cables and pipes snaked out of the nearby walls and connected, robot drones began unloading and Carmilla and the crew made their way to the boarding ramps. Republic Fleet Security were waiting for them. As she tried to pass one held up his hand and looked at her, then over at the others. Wrapped up in a long leather duster, with a wide brimmed hat she looked like an old preacher from the dark days of the occupation, a look not ignored by several of the guards. The officer sneered at her and looked up at the ship.
"You are the pilot of this freighter?"
"I am. Your reason for stopping me? I have legitimate business at this station for my corporation."
"Yes. I'm sure you do. You will naturally consent to having your ship searched for contraband?"
"Naturally I will not."
He blinked and scowled and gestured to one of his men who spoke into his communit.
"I think you will find that all legitimate corporations submit to a search."
"I dare say. Just not on this ship."
"Then your docking permit is revoked. Reboard your ship and....."
The guard moved up behind the officer and whispered in his ear. He turned his head fast.
"They said immediately....."
He turned to her and looked at her with apprehension.
"I will.... let the inspection pass this once. But we will be watching you, Serpentis and other pirate organisations are not welcome here. Bare that in mind woman."
"You look a little tense. Perhaps there is something we can do to relax you? Perhaps you would like to spend some time with some of my crew? I'm sure I have some to your tastes, or failing that I could always arrange something a bit more chemical....."
She smiled from under the brim of her hat and watched the fury across his face.
"But then again, I dare say you can't afford my girls on your salary. If you ever need some extra money call me. I may be in the market soon for some men who know how to fuck."

As she pushed past him with her crew in tow she could hear the button on his holster snap open and the weapon being withdrawn... and then the sound of his arm being held by his subordinates.
"Tell me the hoarders docked and were unloaded safely?"
"All of them. The cargo is now being disseminated to the various dealers and agents."
"Good. Give the rest of the crew a days shore leave. I'll be here for some time I have business to take care of."
"Then we come with you. And Carm, when are you going to take that silly collar off? It doesn't become you."
"You are a good navigator, Tomas. But you are not my keeper, no matter what my brother says. The collar stays on until she tells me otherwise."
"Aaach, I never could understand you and that woman."
Carm stopped and turned on her navigator grabbing his collar and pushing him against a wall, a knife from her hip up and at his throat. She glared into his eyes.
"And I never understood why you find it necessary to insult my wife."
She felt the blade tip at her navel.
"You cut me, I cut you. I am guide you remember through the dark places we must go. And with what we've been through I've earned the right to call you a silly bitch for what you do."
"Yes you have, but maybe I'll give you a cut to remind you anyway...."
One of the other crew slipped infront of them, blocking them from the corridor.
"More guards... knifes away!"
Both blades vanished and Carm smiled and leaned in, kissing his cheek.
"I know you do, old friend. But I cant' stop being who I am. The collar stays, and your percentage for the journey goes up."
As a group they started walking again and headed down several levels to the great doors that lead into the parts of the station that were reserved for the local inhabitants. Already as they went down they had passed the darkened levels, lit only by flickering lights and hidden fires. Here were the unwanted people, those rescued from slavery by the capsuleers and dropped here to be looked after by the Minmatar government. Hands were held out, the cries and whispers for financial support, or food, or relief from the hardships.

Once it had turned her, made her fight back against those who had done this. And in the process she had lost part of her soul, lost a part of her sister and her heritage. The crimes that were committed in the cause of freedom were more than the crimes committed by simply being a Holder and keeping slaves. She had seen the Holders and their guards gutted like fish and their slaves taken away to be free. Free to rot in the stations, pray for the gutter gangs of minmatar youth, free to be taken from all they knew and thrown into this anarchy of freedom. Everyone talked of freedom, talked of being rescued by the Freedom Fighters, but few knew what would happen after. Perhaps if they knew, they wouldn't be so eager to leave.

But, there was that part of her that felt for them. As she stopped, she heard the groans of her crew. They too knew well what was coming and what would be asked of her.
"Come on guys, dig deep. You can have half of my cut."
The crew pulled out money and food that they had on them and handed it out. People appeared from darkned doorways and hallways, praising them for their generosity. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the lean figures of a guttergang, their colours marking them and the markings on the wall indicating this was their territory. Most likely they would come by when they had gone and tax these poor people. Dog eat dog. At least as slaves they were kept and cared for, she mused, and maybe my perspective is a little warped, but I never had to starve in a metal coffin that was falling apart.
"Come on. We have work to do, we're not a charity."
With a scowl at the gutter gangers she swept past them and deeper into the station.

Once at the meeting location she removed her long coat revealing the pure white business suit underneath. A pendant of finest jade dug from Serpentis Prime hung at her neck, and around it a collar of chrome. In her hand she toyed with a silenced pistol while her brothers people sorted out the crates that had been delivered from the hoarders. Around them three dozen dealers and agents. Sections of the cargo were delivered, payments recieved. Guards, both hers and theirs patrolled the corridors and the hangers they were in. The local inhabitants paid well to keep their eyes and ears shut.

A violent shudder ran through her, as once again she could feel the effects of the vitoc on her. It seemed that the dose she took lasted a shorter and shorter time. Taking out her box she flicked a vial and slipped it into the hypo and pressed it against her neck and injected herself. Closing her eyes she felt the relief as it pulsed through her, with heavy eyes she looked up and found herself moaning, her hand touching her collar and the other hand grasping the pistol.

Damn, she thought, that these people should see me like this. Perhaps I should kill them all, kill every last one of them. Start shooting and not stop til only I am left alive kill them all kill them all kill them all


The slap brought her around and she looked into Tomas's face. Everything was silent, and she noticed a lot of guns pointing at her.
"Carmilla. Let go of the gun. Please."
She felt his insistant hand at hers and felt the weapon slip into his hand. People were whispering, some with fearful looks on her face.
"What did I just do, " she whispered.
"You shot the Angel Cartels local distributor for the lower reaches. The only reason you are not dead is out crew outnumbers theres and we have more guns."
She stood up and walked over to Angel, two holes in his suit, the smell of blood and fear in the air. Kneeling before him, aware of the guns pointed at her she reached down and slapped his face gently.
"That is a reminder that we know when you are cheating us. If I had meant business I would have put bullets in your head."
The man looked at her, anger in his eyes and waved his hands at his men.
"Your reputation preceeds you. Your predecessor would have killed me outright."
"That is bad for business. Here you will live, so you can learn from your mistakes. And so will the others."
"Be warned though, Carmilla of the Collar. I will report this to my people. They will not be happy."
Carmilla stood up and straightened her skirt and smoothed it out.
"People rarely are when I take an interest in things."

The rest of the business processed quick and the payments were divided and despatched.
"Pay the men, Tomas and remember we leave first thing in the morning."
"And where are you going?"
"To find a hotel and sleep. And to shower. Goddam I hate this place. When you get time contact my brother and tell him to move me out of this shit hole."
They turned as they heard the sound of people running and watched as a squad of Republic Fleet Security poured in through the doors, weapons out and pointing.
"I hate this place. I really do."
"Lower your weapons! You are all under arrest for crimes against the state!"
"Screw you! You'll never take us alive!"
She raised her pistol and screamed as she ran for cover and pulled the trigger, behind her other crew members were also firing. Before long the air was filled with the screams of weaponry and wounded people.

Rens. Home of freedom and liberty. Home of the free and those who believe they are.
I hate this place. I hate what it stands for. I hate the hypocrisy.

I hate that it reminds me that there is only one place I belong. Perhaps I should do something about it.

Assuming I survive the night.

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