* * * * * *
"My name is Chrystina Elira Blodel," say stated.
I blinked as my eyes adjusted to the light. "Blodel...?"
"Yes. I'm here because of my brother."
... I felt the slug tug at my arm as it sliced through my bicep, fortunately for me only going through the outside centimeter of flesh. Although I really wanted to shoot Rusack as I closed in on the pair, my instincts told me I could not risk that Blodel would still miss again. At four meters away I pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger and even though I was on the move I didn't miss the stationary target. Blodel was struck square in the chest and flew backwards, his right hand flying out with the gun and it skittered away on the floor...
"Right," I said tiredly."Look, that was self defense..."
She silenced me with a wave. "I saw the vid recordings of the incident, and I agree, it was a kill or be killed moment for you. I don't care. That does not absolve you of the fact that you killed him and ancient rules of Amarrian honour demand retribution. And while I care very little for honour and tradition, I do care very strongly for my family's wealth."
I was alert now. I surreptitiously checked my surroundings and tried to find something to use as a weapon. "So, you're here to kill me now?" I asked to stall her.
"Don't be ludicrous. These savages," she gestured to the walls, "are looking for any excuse to arrest me. I'm not as courageous as you - or stupid, I can't decide which - to flaunt the protections that the CONCORD agreements give us pod pilots. If I so much as accidently scratch a bulkhead I would find myself accompanied by two hulking Brutor thugs to a cell, which most likely would look suspiciously like an airlock."
"So what are you doing here then?" I was starting to get annoyed.
She leaned forward and locked my gaze to hers. "I'm here to ask you to come freely with me to face my family's tribunal."
I started to laugh but her face did not so much as flicker and my relief turned to nervousness once more. "Why in the world would I do that?"
"If you come willingly with me, the tribunal will find you guilty of my brother's death but they will understand the motivations of your actions in seeking retribution for your own brother's injuries and how my brother was simply caught in the crossfire. You will be imprisoned for the rest of your natural life but the light security detention centres on our planet can be reasonably comfortable.
"However, if you refuse to answer the call to account for your actions to my family, I will be forced to find some way to extract honourable re-compensation through whatever means necessary."
"I'm not going to spend the rest of my life in some backwater Amarrian 'detention centre' to make your family feel better about your idiot brother," I replied angrily as I stood up, no longer caring about my nakedness. "And you'll have to do better than vague threats of 'extracting re-compensation' to scare me."
She leaned back in the chair and gave a resigned sigh. "I guess it was too much to hope that a Caldari would understand about familial honour." She stood up and walked out without another look. "Just remember," she said as she walked towards the quarter's door, "I gave you the option to come quietly."