Saturday, 2 March 2013

Have you seen my daughter?

".... Have you seen my daughter? She was last...."

Jita. There is no place like it for loosing yourself. Neon signs cast their sickly glow on the bustle of people who walk through the streets, fly the skies and try to live there. No matter if it's one of the cities, or mining colonies, or gargantuan stations in orbit, the garish advertisments are always playing, always luring. Jita. There is no place like it for people being chewed up and spat out. It's a meatgrinder. And of all the places in Jita one place is the worst, everyone knows it as 4-4. The Caldari Navy Assembly Plant.

"...seen in the Jita system. Her name is...."

Most of the time in this place, the sound of the assembly plant is drowned out by the ships coming and going. Everything from freighters to battleships to transports. Each bringing it's cargo of human cattle. Meat for the meatgrinder, money for the pushers, pleasure for the whores, and innocents for those who trade in such things. Everyone wants to come to Jita to make a living. Those who want to make it big in the 3-dtv's and the movies go else where. This place is for sharks, and the minnows that feed them.

".... Justine Greya, she is 5ft 5 and has blonde hair...."

The bars and restaurants are constantly filled, though on certain levels the locals don't visit them. Tourist prices, easily afforded by the capsuleers and their minions, or those who come to make money. Anything goes in the lower levels, there is no vice, no debauchery that cannot be entertained. No virtue left untouched. Where screams in dark corridors could be a trap, or a treachery. No one knows, and no one cares. This is Jita, where life is worth the last few isk you have in your bag.

"... and blue eyes. She was last seen there on the third day of the month of despair...."

But for me, I always come here. Down just before the lower levels there is a wall, known as the Wall of Messages, to others known as the Wall of Tears. This is where the missing people are posted by those who have enough care to want to find them. Hundreds of cards cover the wall, each one with it's own message, be it written with an attached picture, or a holo-card with a micro-projector, ususally in a female voice, the loving mother, or worried sister. The faces of the innocent are here, the voices are strained, a truly sad site.

"... working in the Field of Dreams Cafe on the 4th Level. If you know where my daughter is a reward will be...."

I come here for a different reason. For tonight, I am a predator, a hunter of flesh. And this one will do me fine. Justine Greya. I pick the card from the wall and listen to it. It is the same as the rest, just a better quality. A good picture of the girl, with luck a good idea of where she was. Most likely a dectective had traced her this far, but they never get further. That they know the last cafe she worked at indicates she spent serious money finding her. Which only makes what is coming next the sweeter. I scan the wall for others, three come up interesting. With luck, maybe.

The Field of Dreams Cafe was like any number of lower level places. Dingy neon lights lit up the plastic tables and chairs. Behind a grubby worktop a heavy set caldari works a grill and a few tired waitresses totter around on shoes far too high, in clothes far too revealing. The only dreams here are broken ones. It doesn't take long for the grill man to recognise the girl, and with a combination of my low cut top and the money stuffed between my bossom he remembers quickly and his touch lingers long after I have left. Cold stares from the waitresses are ignored, they are damaged goods and not worthy of my time.

In the lowest level there is a connection to the warehouse district. Given that the lower down the levels are the least likely that security will be seen. Down there it makes null sec look like a concord function. Every corner has it's group of thugs, no one walks the corridors unless they are armed or important. Or often, both.  Gang colours mark the areas, scrawls on the walls indicate territory. I dont need gang colours to come down here, I am known, as are my girls. Occasionally a new gang tries something and we leave them in the dirt of the floor, bleeding or worse. The next time they are more understanding. It's the natural way of things down here.

I spend some time talking with a bouncer on a snuff-club. I show him the picture and he nods. She was here, two days before. Taken to the Zhang Tao as tribute by the Ghost Shelf gang along with a handfull of other girls. I tipped him the usual amount and kissed his cheek, I always had a soft spot for the bouncers.

By the time I had gotten to the Zhang Tao an auction was underway. I paid over the odds to get in and took my chair before the runway, my girls beside me. Several here who knew me acknowledged me with a bow or a wave or a simple nod. Others ignored me, their minds on the stage. As was I. 

They brought the girls forward. Each of them would, if they were lucky, have a spot on the Wall of Tears. I recognise Justine, third in the row. Frightened, beaten, probably abused. Her clothes are rags, but they have cleaned her face up. Chains on her wrists link to a heavy belt, linking her front and back to the next girls. In all there were seven in this lot. I bid on them all, and again, paid over the odds. But I can afford it.

In the cells at the back I look over the girls and stop before Justine, opening the card before her and letting her see and hear it.

"My name is Constance Greya, Regional Manager of Production for Quaffe in the Heimatar Region. Have you seen my daughter, her name is Justine Greya, she is 5ft 5 and has blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen there on the third day of the month of despair in the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant. She was known to have been  working in the Field of Dreams Cafe on the 4th level in the level known as Manifs Haven. If you know where my daughter is a reward will be given for her safe return. Contact and verification details are on the reverse of the card. My name is Constance Greya, Regional...."

I let her listen to it as it cycled through. The tears in her eyes looked to be tears of joy, she had been found and rescued. I let her believe it for a while. Clothes were given to them all and they were cleaned up. Then they were rechained. Most of them started crying again, but Justine did not. She did not belive there was any danger, her mother had sent someone to find her. 

I always enjoy watching them as they realise... that no one is coming to save them. As they reached my docking bay and they were hearded aboard I went to the docking supervisor. His usual stipend was paid direct and we took off, just another transport amongst the many that come and go. I stood before all of them in the large suite they were in and two of the crew followed me in. Big brutors. I seperated Justine from them and slipped a collar around her neck and linked her to the wall by a length of chain. Then I tore up the card infront of her eyes. The tears welled up and I laughed at her then told the others what their positions would be on this ship. And that as long as the dear Justine refused to accept her new place, they would pleasure the crew night and day. They screamed, pleaded, begged. But Justine refused to accept it. Refused for three hours until she broke down.

I paid over the odds. But I am a sucker for sebiestors. And I always like to surprise my crew with such treats.

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