"Finally, you're awake."
Well, I wouldn't go that far, I thought to myself grimly as I closed my eyes against the stabbing pain that the dim lights of the bedroom drove into my skull. I laid there in bed for a few moments and considered rolling over and going back to sleep, but a small voice in the back of my head kept harassing me with the question, "who said that?" over and over again.
I tried to recall last night. I had been good for a few weeks, laying off the drugs, but yesterday I finished a mission for a Republic Security agent up in Hek and he gave me a referral to a more senior agent in Gulfonodi. I had packed up all my stuff and moved down that system in the Molden Heath region of the republic and after all that work decided to celebrate with a little blue pill and some sexy Minmatar ladies. Then my memory got hazy, so I reluctantly opened my eyes again despite the flash of pain to confirm I was in my quarters on the Fleet Logistic Support station.
Metal bulkheads, haphazard ceiling layout, two burnt out pot lights, improvised vent cover... yep, Minmatar station.
I closed my eyes again and took a deep breath that sort of turned into a groan at the end of the exhale. Why do I do this to myself? I wondered again for the millionth time, then flashes of music, dancing, and hard curved bodies floated up from my memory of last night. Oh yeah, right.
I slowly forced myself up, throwing my legs over the edge of the bed first and allowing my centre of gravity to help leverage my torso up. My head pounded and I wished I had remember to put the pain killers on the bed's shelf before taking that pill because I always feel this bad upon coming down from the high, but they were still packed in some random container I had not bothered to open before starting the celebrations. I opened my eyes for a third time and found that not staring at the lights in the ceiling, however dim, helped keep the pain to a tolerable level. I was alone in the messed up "king sized" bed (in the rest of the cluster it would have been called a double sized bed, I figure the Minmatar sleep on top of each other to conserve space in their cramped stations) and I looked around to find a figure sitting in a kitchen chair near the doorway at the end of my bed.
"You're not..." I struggled a second to remember the names of the girls I picked up last night before giving up, "... one of my friends from last night."
The stranger was a woman with straight shoulder length hair and wearing a dark pantsuit. I could not tell in the dim lights of the room what colour her hair and skin was, but she didn't look Minmatar from what I could tell.
"No, I sent them on their way after they let me in once you had passed out," she said matter of factly, and then added, "just like I paid them to do."
"Lights, on," I commanded the room. Nothing happened.
My visitor sighed and reached up to turn a dial. The lights flared and I squinted and rubbed my temples. "You're in tribal space now, not the Federation anymore."
"Just who the hell are you?" I demanded.