Prologue Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9
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Kla's voice caused a wave of relief. Reinforcements on the way. I pinged the directional scanner and saw the Hurricane and Luccul's Drake appear, followed moments later by their icons appearing on the overview as the warp bubble dispersed and they slowed to sub-light speeds. They were only 10 kilometers behind me and their ships started to turn to approach and lock the hostile Pilgrim.
Then something else appeared on the overview. My skin crawled as I read the words "cynosaural field".
"But that's not possible!" Kla'strit shouted in disbelief. "We're in high sec!"
Next my nerves connected to the sub space field detectors picked up the massive quantum energy flux as space-time ripped apart and a massive form punched its way from light years distant. As sensor recalibrated and camera drones came back on line, I found myself in the shadow of an Amarrian Archon carrier, gold hull gleaming menacingly in the red sun of Teonusude.
"Holy shit, that's huge!" whispered Luccul in awe of the capital ship. It was a magnificent sight. In the State navy I had flown escort for carriers and dreadnoughts in exercises and the occasional operation, and in space with no clues as to perspective and scale it was easy to not realize just how large they were when you were flying 30-50 kilometers from them. But this carrier was right on top of us and I could see the occasional new armour panel or scratches from space debris on its hull that seemed to go on forever.
"Ok, we can do this!" Kla'strit exclaimed as he tried to adjust to the new situation. "Luccul, follow my lead. We'll target any drones or fighters it launches and just try and keep it busy until the Minmatar show up. They have to show up. This is their space. That's an Amarr ship. They will show up." While he was talking I looked up the pilot of the ship and realized the motive of what was going on. Chrystina Elira Blodel, my uninvited guest from this morning. I also realized this was not some random poorly planned assault.
"Kla, Luccul, get out of here."
"Kirith, we can hold them off and keep you alive until the Republic ships get here."
"No Kla, you can't," I responded. "Its that woman I told you about before we came out here. She's after me and she's probably got it all planned out. Bribes, favours, sabotage, it doesn't matter. Help won't arrive in time."
"We can kill the Pilgrim! I'll get Seven and Min out here, get Nhi'Khuna to get to her ship..."
My ship informed me I was being targeted. "Listen to me! That carrier has remote reps to keep that Pilgrim alive, and probably a heavy neut or two. And definitely many waves of drones. Heavy, mediums, lights... we will get worn down no matter how well you knock them off. Get out of here now!"
Seconds passed. I hoped he had not allowed himself or Luccul to get warp disrupted while arguing with me. Then he said in a despondent voice, "Activated wing warp," and the two allied ships warped off leaving me alone with my pursuer.
My neocom beeped as a open comms request came from the carrier. At the same time a wave of ten fighters departed from the hull of the Archon and began their attack run on me. I accepted the request and asked, "How did you manage to get the cyno jammer offline?"