Joining the Nation - Part 2

The interceptor slid through the vacuum, little more than splinters of gold against the background of rocks and cold, empty space. As the warp bubble collapsed all around and the lesser emptiness of normal space returned, Silver pulled the ship down on a course through the heart of the formation below. Primed weapons firing as fast as lock is achieved, and just like that the first Sansha frigate disappeared. Two more blooms of light, and the Crusader slipped between the 2 remaining ships, their spikes reaching in from each side as the MWD roared and he shot between them. These last two were Phantasms - cruisers of the Nation, and Silver deactivated the Microwarp as he settled into a comfortable orbit around the first of them, staccato rhythm of the pulse lasers against its shield soothing, speaking of the inevitable outcome. As the laser fire from the cruisers futilely turned asteroid dust into plasma on every side, and the sleek interceptor's bursts began peeling away layers of composite armor in vaporous clouds, Silver reflected.

It had been a week since he left the Zainou station. Returning to ICT's primary non-capital shipyards in Amarr space, he had hoped for time to think through what he hoped to do now. Unfortunately, as a Director, he hardly had a moment's peace. So, the ICTS Slicer had come out of storage and here he was. She wasn't the best ship for destroying pirates, most times. However, she fit the bill for this outing: fast, no crew, and the fights were at least a little less one sided. 3 days of eliminating True Slaves with no dock time. Three days and no closer to a decision. No more serving the empires, no more killing to sloppily patch the State's petty mistakes. What did that leave? Killing for CONCORD was hardly better, though at least with True Slaves it was more a mercy. Mining? Certainly not an effective use of abilities.

The blossoming of the first cruiser's reactor into space jerked him out of the same dead-ends he had butted against all week, and he turned his attention to the sole remaining Nation ship. She looked old, very old. Repairs and patches, one atop another, gave much of the armored skin a mottled look, as if dappled by an unseen sun through unseen trees. One of the forward sensor masts was actually broken off, the stub giving the impression of a broken nosed old fighter. Given his small cargo hold, salvaging anything from the wreckage of the ships he destroyed hadn't been practical for the most part. This one though... An interesting story perhaps, a diversion. The first flickers began punching through shields, to annihilate the sorely pressed nanobots trying to hold the ancient ship together, and Silver resolved that he would know this ship's story.

Joining the Nation - Part 1

1 year ago

Silver Night grimaced in the mirror. His image stared back at him with pale steel eyes, black uniform immaculate, the single star of an ICT Director on his collar its only decoration. He ran a hand through his short cropped brown hair, still damp from the post-pod shower, and carefully schooled his expression. Frustration and anger were signs of weakness.

Leaving his quarters he threaded through the passageways, toward one of the airlocks dotting the ICTS Swift. Greeting crewmen distantly as he made his way forward and cycled through, he climbed directly into the waiting personal transport and sank into the seat. He gave the destination and tried to relax as the Drake shrunk away behind. Usually the sights of the bustling Zainou station would have cheered him - today they just made him grit his teeth. Thousands, tens of thousands of people stumbling blindly around, blissfully unaware of what happened outside their little gray clad world. The transport glided smoothly to a stop at a nondescript platform. Pulling himself out of the transport, Silver strode through the entrance to the 'Contractor Liaison' offices.

Agentland, where you could see more podders and their leash holders than anywhere else. He navigated the maze of corridors, footsteps echoing in the dull, unadorned, gunmetal hallways. Halkkoiken Jakanerva's office had a small plaque beside it, humble for the man who had more firepower at his beck and call than anyone, except CONCORD or CalNav, for three jumps in every direction. Silver walked in and addressed the surprised secretary in a cold, controlled voice, "I will see Mr Jakanerva now. I don't have an appointment. Tell him it is Silver Night and to remember the special work I have done for him in the past."

As he waited, Silver looked around; automatically taking in the expensive but bland art on the walls, the precisely pruned plants flanking the doorway to the inner sanctum, the secretary's look of slight contempt, without really seeing any of it. The door to the back office opened with a chime moments later. Walking in he stopped in front of the desk and gave the surprised man behind it a hard look. "I'm done Jakanerva. I've come to collect my last pay in person."

The agent leaned forward in his chair, recovering quickly and used to some of the vagaries of podders, "You've worked for us for more than a year, whats the problem? We pay well enough, the area is good. What does another corporation have to offer? Is it those bastards at KK? I know you want better access to research assets, but most of their cybernetics and AI stuff is trash they make up to get grants. I'll have better access fo-"

"I don't think you understand Jakanerva, I'm not going to be working Kaalakiota, or for anyone in the State. In any empire." Silver's anger finally slipped his control, peeking out as he made an abrupt chopping gesture, cutting the man off, "I'm done with all of it. Podders never venturing from the safety of CONCORD battle groups. Going out and slaughtering pirates, mercenaries, poor enlisted bastards, and whoever else we are told. Working for empires and their minions! Corrupt, stagnant scum hiding in the iron fist that crushes you. The same goes for pilots that continue to huddle in here with you. Podders have been given the opportunity and ability to do something great, and they waste it on bastards like you."

He took a deep breath and reined in his temper, voice flat, "I'll be loyal to the Caldari people till I die. Even to the State, in a way. But I'll decide how. Maybe not always the loyalty they would prefer. Hopefully just the loyalty they need."

Silver turned on his his heel and walked from the office, nodding to the secretary as he swept through the outer door. Returning to the platform, he slid into the car, feeling drained. He had finally cut ties, not least in his own mind. Now he just had to figure out what was next. Perhaps a vacation, of sorts.