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Friday, November 12, 2010

A Friday First

  As the title suggested, I have a first for you. Today, as promised, I have my first ever Eve fiction. There are a couple disclaimers, since I have mentioned my hesitations before. I have tried to stay true to Eve lore, while taking my own creative liberties. Story matters more to me than strict adhesion to each Eve related detail. I should read more Chronicles, perhaps, but this is my interpretation of the universe. There are parts where it seems I butcher a language, please keep an open mind and know I do it with good intentions. I love language and try to treat is as well as possible and be a responsible writer for you, my dear reader. But language does evolve over time so it is only logical that some bits get mashed together or changed between their ancestors' and their time. For some languages, I only understand the rudimentary but will do my best to not mangle them. Since this is setting everything up it is a long one, just to warn you. This may only be part of an ongoing thing, if you all like it. Possibly.

  I also wanted to give a thanks to Viperous Stark. He (or she?) was one of my first commenters and has been a loyal reader. My hectic week hasn't let me log in much until now and I got quite a shock. I had a mail, poking me about an outstanding contract. A Falcon. *squeals* Ahem...sorry you had to see that. It is so hard not to break my training for the much loved ship, especially since I am have been in Jita getting fittings for a new Myrm and it is sitting in that hangar taunting me. I will fly you, my pretty. So thanks, Viper. I forgot my indignity of critique after that. Don't worry, I love all my readers equally. ;)

Enough! We want story! You are right, apologies. Without further ado, I give you fiction

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  Dante scanned the tablet in his hands one last time, pressing his thumb on the display to sign off on the docking agreement and handed it back to the dock assistant . It had been too long since he had tried anything resembling the archaic written form, so he was glad the station would accept his print.

  Turning his coat collar up he made his way from the docking bay. A sturdy Minmatar man met him short of the corridor leading toward the station’s main body. Tall, as the Brutor tribe tended to be, the man displayed his cultural tattoos proudly with his thick black hair pulled back and wearing a sleeveless jacket. Intricate designs webbed his exposed arms, an intimidating figure to be sure. The man met Dante with his somber, grey eyes and gave a customary Brutor embrace.

As they pulled away, he spoke. “You breathe our air again, my friend. It has been too long. It is good to see you. How was your trip?”

“As good as a pilot could hope for in these times, Mech. This shipment should cover my expenses and set me ahead a fair bit. Not the most exciting endeavor, but it’s a job. I’ll deal with the market details later. How about a drink while I get used to being meat again.”

“Always a good decision.” Mech gave a smile, a rarity from the stoic man.

  Mechao Amosan, Mech as Dante preferred, was one of Dante’s oldest friends. As Dante thought about it, he might be one of the only people to call a friend. But that satisfied the Gallente capsuleer. The dark skinned Brutor was loyal and had never failed to be so. He had met the towering man in the Academy, where they both were in training to be a capsuleer. The Brutor had dropped out of the program near the end and without any apparent reason and Dante had never felt the need to pry.

  They made their way through the ornate corridor, the typical Gallente style of wealth. It was a bit subdued than some Gallente environments, where the design was built to shove as much lavish luxury and entertainment into every cubic meter.

  The corridor opened up to the boarding area for inter-station taxi shuttles. Even stations in a dead end system like Andole were expansive to say the least. Hundreds of 1thousands of people were needed to maintain it, not to mention the people that came from the system’s two habitable planets and other systems. It was just another station, just another courier job for Dante.

  The shuttle hummed along its programmed path, shooting under bulkheads and past other paths extending into the deeper shadows of the behemoth station. He couldn’t really remember the time when it was daunting to think about, so he simply closed his eyes and felt the station moving around him.
  The two men stepped out of the shuttle, onto the polished walkway that lead out into the promenade as a multitude of sounds washed over them. Looking up, Dante quirked an eyebrow. The ceiling, stories above their heads, was a simulated sky.

  Groundpounders. Dante thought idly.

  Those who visited from planets often had trouble adjusting to the station environment, so the simulation tracked day and night. Considerate of the station owners, but to Dante it felt odd. The black was his sky now and a planet sky felt too small compared to the infinite expanse of space, even if it made no sense.

  Dante brought his attention back as they made their way through the throngs of station dwellers, groups of Intaki, small mixes of Minmatar tribes, and plenty of tourists from gawking at what must seem like a different world to them.

  The Gallente people were known for their enterprises in entertainment, their continual search for better things to amuse themselves. The promenade housed myriad forms of it, with neon signs over doorwars and screens showing everything from cultural sports to a few rather lewd productions. Dante preferred this collection of people to what a Capsuleer could avail himself of in the majority of stations. It was usually all the most decadent of foods, clothing, company, and distractions anyone living could want. But it wasn’t what he wanted.

  Capsuleers had become detached from the mortal world, lost in their own vanity and power. Flesh was nothing to them except a temporary home. Dante had decided long ago to maintain perspective as long as he could. With the gift of seeming immortality a man should work for bettering the universe. But Dante had given up that hope after years of watching capsuleer corporations and alliances build their dominions with iron fists without a thought to the impact on mortals that must live in their ships, and their stations.

  The startled look on a Gallente woman’s face as he passed made him realize he had begun to glower. He sighed and straightened his expression to a more neutral disinterest as they neared an establishment tucked away in its own niche. He followed Mech as the large man moved into the hallway that seemed quieter by comparison, furnished with long benches against the wall and imported plants while the news played across a display screen. The lone establishment held no sign or any marker for what it offered, but it was easy enough to know it was a bar.

  Most of the darkened room’s space was occupied by tables, lit by hanging fixtures while a traditional Jin-Mei rhythm was ported softly from small speakers in the walls. A small, elevated section, though, was set aside for the game and gambling tables. A few figures stood at one now, engaged in what Dante could only guess was the game Sec Wars. The bar itself matched the station’s designs with smooth lines, rounded edges, and asymmetrical shapes.

  Sitting down at the bar, he leaned onto his elbows and Mech greeted the bartender like a friend. He gave his order for a whiskey while Mech ordered his ale. It was a comfortable atmosphere in the bar, since it was only 1900, a regular crowd from the looks of it.

“Rather strong drink to start.” Mech stated in a deliberately neutral tone

Dante glanced as his friend and gave a grunt as he tapped his temple.

“When you have as much tech in your head as I do, you start to want the world dimmed every now and again.”

  After the conditioning and training a capsuleer endured, the height of reflexes and processing power they held was levels far above what any normal person could do. So when Dante wasn’t plugged into his pod, he preferred to drink. It made the world easier to handle. Conversations were also less awkward when you didn’t finish someone’s sentence or respond before they were done. It tended to make people avoid you. While cybernetic implants were an amazing tool, it could make human contact a trial.

“So what do they have you doing around this place anyways, Mech. I mean, besides looking intimidating.” Dante smiled as he looked at the Brutor.

“I spend most of my time keepin’ this place together. Whatever needs fixin’. I started bouncin’ here lately.”

“Supporting a life of luxury, are you?”

“Nah, this backwater just pays work with more work.”

“I could always use a good hand on my ship. Always good to have a friend along and I certainly pay better.”

Mech paused before responding, “I keep out of space, you know that. Thank you, but no.”

  As the bartender came with their drinks, the men looked toward the tables. Someone had been getting louder, in an argument it seemed. The man was pointing at a seated companion and rocked on his heels uncertainly. Someone had hit it hard.

“Fair enough. I’m just surprised you haven’t jetcanned yourself out of boredom. It’s a bit backwater, even for you.”

“It’s simple. I like simple.”

  Dante couldn’t help but smile. Mech never really saw a need for too much talking, so Dante simply enjoyed bringing on his buzz and being around his friend again. He looked over his neocom for the local market prices, setting orders and making sure his cargo was unloaded and on its way to being ISK. He sipped his drink while scrolling through contracts and job offers. When he undocked, it was never going to be with an empty hold or without a destination.

  It may not be the kind of life most people pictured for a capsuleer, working for hire primarily as a courier or as he had more recently started, a miner. His training made him a quick study of any trade or ship system after all. It was, however, the life he preferred. He’d leave the adrenaline highs to other capsuleers. Just like Mech, his life was simple and he liked simple.
  His browsing and reverie was interrupted suddenly when a jolt sent whiskey sloshing onto his hand, causing him to give a mild curse. He hadn’t noticed the man that had made a scene had stumbled his way to the bar and bumped Dante on his way to the bartender a few stools over. He didn’t seem to notice his error as he demanded a drink through a slur of words. His accent, and at closer inspection his face, showed Caldari heritage.

“No more for you, Aleksi, you have had enough. Sleep it off.”

“Dunn you tell no. I..I wll tell you when iss enough. Drnnk, now!”

The bartender simply shook his head as he continued to wipe a glass inside and out. The man threw a few profanities at him, apparently hoping to bully the man into it.

  Eventually even in his drunk stubbornness, he gave up trying after a while. The bartender seemed familiar with his type and able to handle it. Aleksi looked over at Dante with glassy eyes.

“’Ey, tomodachi, help me out here.” He slurred.

“Non, sorry. Not your friend.” Dante went back to his neocom.

“You got a dunn like me? It’s just a drink.”

He snorted, but didn’t seem to care for a reply since he started back to his table. Suddenly, when the drunk was passing Dante, his stumble into the Gallente man didn’t seem so innocent. Mech had been keeping an eye on him and was on his feet immediately.

“Time for you to leave.” The bass of Mech’s voice brooked no alternative.

“I dunn nothing. I leave when I want.”

“It’s ok, Mech let him go.”

The Brutor looked at Dante and back at Aleksi beforing sitting back down as the drunk walked away.

“Simple you say.” Dante chuckled into his glass.

  The two men order more drinks and caught up on what had happened in their lives since the Academy. Mech had moved around and hardly seemed to be in one place for long. His time on the station had been his longest time in any one place for years. Dante had of course graduated the Academy and decided to become work for hire, sometimes taking the contracts that would be more dangerous for those with only one life to spare.

“And yet you are in the same body I left you in.”

“I aim to keep it that way, n’ami. Why throw away a body as if it means nothing. Besides, I’ve seen a few who switched bodies too often. It can take a great toll in its own ways, immortal or not.”

  The capsuleers that had no regard for their own body began to devalue those around them. It sickened Dante. It was quite a thing to do when your own crew cannot simply wake up in a medical vat and act as if their ship didn’t just turn into space debris. Freedom was a core value for any true Gallente and what those capsuleers had was not freedom to him.

  The two continued to talk until there was little left. News of the great alliances and other regional politics of space hardly filtered this far, even with technology as it was, so they chatted idly about such things before deciding to leave the bar rather tipsy. Mech mentioned that he had a few things to tie up before being free of duties, so he headed off. Dante decided to retire to his guest quarters for the time being. It would be nice to rest. After being plugged into a pod for long periods of time, his body wasn't what it once was.

  Most stations were similar in layout, but Dante still had to backtrack a time or two before finally making it to the right door. Perhaps that whiskey was stronger than normal or maybe I'm just old, he thought wryly. He slumped onto the bunk and was out in moments.

  He woke a couple hours later to a chirp from his neocom. Groggily checking it, a hangar update notified him of minor repairs to his ship and a resupply he had ordered. It would be time to meet Mech soon, so he got up and showered. The alcohol's effect was gone for the most part, a small buzz remaining.

  He headed out from his quarters and made his way back towards the promenade. It wasn't long before he felt someone shadowing his movements. They weren't too bad at it, but they couldn't know he was a capsuleer with a bit more perception than an average pilot.

  As he walked he made sure it was casually to feign ignorance. If this station had any logic to it, he would be able to make his way towards the engineering sections and hopefully find Mech if he got lucky or at the very least lose his new follower.

  He made his way through the corridors until the moderate elegance of decorations gave way to more bluntly business hallways that lead to restricted areas and maintenance areas. As he took another turn in hopes of getting further ahead, Dante stopped short. The hallway ended abruptly with a wall, not even a locked door to try hacking.

"Merde" He muttered softly.

  He could hear footsteps, more than a single pair now. It seems someone had brought friends. He turned and flicked a short message on his neocom to Mech. He was left without options now that he had cornered himself. The steps resolved into three men, two Gallente men and the third was Aleksi, the drunk from the bar. He seemed more able now and a fair bit angry.

"We have unsettled business, tomodachi.You dishonored me."

"I don't want trouble, I didn't dishonor anyone."

  Despite his hopes to the contrary, this situation wasn't about to just go away. As he spoke, he sized up the man's cohorts. They weren't overly impressive, but each had the build of a man that could turn a rusty wrench without too much effort. Besides, Dante's expertise was in ships, not people. His limited hand-to-hand combat was a bit out of shape. Whatever he was paying them, it was enough for them not to care what came out of his mouth.

"You think not? Of course you Gallente scum know nothing of honor. But we will fix that, won't we?"

  Dante knew Caldari could be odd, but this man was beyond it with words as deranged as his looks. The man had wild eyes now, far from the glassed gaze from the bar, and stood with an arrogance that irritated Dante.

  The Gallente to his right made a lunge, trying to catch him off guard while Aleksi continued to rant. Dante didn't have the best of implants, far from it in fact. His interests were more directed his own memory and intelligence anyways. But even a capsuleers most basic level of perception bested most mortals and it showed as his buzz was immediately forgotten. He processed the action and his body responded instantly, grabbing the man's arm and leaning into a punch to the midsection. Apparently, Aleksi wasn't quite as stupid as he seemed.

"Nobody's that fast. He's an egger! Put him down."

    He didn't focus on either man for too long, throwing punches and jabs at each and hoping to keep them both busy enough to find an opening. It was a defensive fight for him and he was tiring quickly, paying for it when they landed a couple blows. Two men were too much for him. to handle. His opening came when the first man stepped toward him too far, extending himself and allowing Dante to knock him off balance. Before he could recover, Dante threw a flurry of fists and knees at him and was able to connect with the man's jaw. He crumpled to the floor in a heap, leaving the second man left to fight. As he watched his partner go down, however, the money wasn't as attractive as it had been and he pushed past Aleksi, profanities following him down the corridor.

  Dante breathed hard, tired after the unplanned exertion as his limbs felt heavy. But Aleksi didn't seem to be leaving. It had gone this far, so Dante sighed and moved forward. He feinted to the left with a following punch to Aleksi's chest. His eyes went wide with surprise when the man was able to catch the fist. Aleksi gave a smug smile.

"You think you are the only one with fancy toys?" He turned enough for Dante to see the spots in the back of his neck where an implant could be inserted.

  He overcame his surprise quickly and knew it had to end. Fighting another capsuleer would only end badly for him and who knew what other surprises the man was hiding. The Caldari was stronger than he looked and more than willing to use it. Dante's free hand came around to knock the smile off Aleksi's face, but it was caught as well. He had hoped for it. As he pulled, Aleksi tightened his grip allowing Dante to shift his weight. This allowed his knee to come up between the man's legs. Aleksi's eyes went wide, nearly crossing as he groaned and sank to his knees weakly.

"I'm not your friend, conasse."

  He stepped past the incapacitated man and jogged down the corridor back to an intersection that would take him to the promenade.   After he was sure he was clear of Aleksi, he made his way to a display that was placed in its own alcove along the hallway. It was a comm relay and he quickly brought up Mech's extension. It was time he was leaving.


(©2010 This work of fiction is property of its author only)


Memoocan said...

I felt that it was getting a bit long for a first post of fiction, so I cut it short. I hope it is an organic enough end for this but I have my reservations. Hope you all enjoy it and look for more in the future :)

Viperous Stark said...


I remember reading in one of your earlier posts that you really wanted to get into a falcon at some point. I look forward to reading your AARs after you finally get into it.

Interesting writeup. I don't read to many eve "fiction" blogs, with the exception of a couple IC ones. Is Dante an alt of yours, or just a completely fictional character? Either way, looking toward to the next "chapter(?)". :)

Memoocan said...

Copy that :P

Indeed. I'm going to have lots of fun with it and I can't wait to be able to fly cloaky ECM. *sinister smile* and ty again

Bwaha I didn't explain that did I? /facepalm Yes, I figured Memoocan is a hard name to take seriously so I decided to make a new name that is more believably Gallente. The last half of the whole thing is a first draft I wrote at 3 am so it's weak, but hopefully I can work things out a bit better. He will be based loosely around things Memoocan experiences. We shall see :P