Prologue Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12
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"Here, have a drink."
I took the offered glass and tilted my head back to let the alcohol burn down my throat. Some Amarrian brandy of some sort. I was too furious to take note of th name of it. I barely even tasted it. And it did not quench my anger.
"...they are not stopping..."
Nhi'Khuna took the empty glass and filled it half way again before handing it back to me and returning to her desk. I resisted the urge to gulp the second portion as I wanted a clear head to plot my revenge. It had taken all my will power to resist the drugs back in my room, anything to try and erase the image of my crew's life boats from being destroyed one by one as I sat there helpless.
"... there is something wrong..."
"I can't believe she did that, Nhi. They had nothing to do with her brother." I clenched my fist. "They were only human."
Nhi`Khuna sighed and spread her hands in a helpless shrug. "I don't know what to tell you, Kirith. I've never seen anyone do that before. I'm so sorry."
"I don't need your sorry. I need to start thinking of a way to get back at her for this! For my crew!"
"Let's not be rash, Kir. This is a pair of station scum lowlife like Rusack we're talking about here. She is rich and connected; you want to start a war with a null sec alliance? They will hound you out of space." She looked down at her desktop. "You don't realize how small space is until they start chasing you out of it."
"... they are not stopping..."
"RASH!? She fucking killed hundreds of people who don't get to wake up in a clone vat, Nhi'Khuna! And no one will do anything about it? BULLSHIT!" I stood up and started angrily pacing. "I'm going to do something about it."
"Oh god," she exclaimed, "don't be stupid. Crew die by the thousands every day. They know that signing up for a capsuleer ship is a risky venture that pays well, live or die. The pensions and insurance cover all the risk and more." She pointed a finger at me. "You think rescue craft from the nearest Sister's outpost arrive promptly out in the depths of dark null sec? They face the dangers of starvation and isolation every day."
"I am in high sec," I retorted, "my crew was not signing up for null sec risk."
She snorted. "Don't be naive. You and I both know that low sec is one jump away and just as dangerous as anywhere else in space. Your crew accepted the risks when they were onboard when you undocked. Don't go soft on them and me just because you got caught."
"... sensors indicate we are being locked..."
I sat back down in the chair, shoulders slumping. I got caught. It was my fault they died. Caught. In high sec. No CONCORD to save the day. Something clicked in my head. I lifted my head and looked Nhi'Khuna in the eyes.
"... sir, it was an honour service with y-"
"How much did she pay you to intercept the notification about the war dec?"
The flicker of an eyelid told me all that I needed to know.
"You bitch!" I growled.
"Kirith..." Nhi'Khuna began.
"Don't you fucking 'Kirith' me!" I screamed as I bolted up. She calmed laid a pistol on the desk top, her hand not coming off it. It was a big desk and she had nerves of steel. I would never get it from her in time.
"Listen," she pleaded, "I haven't been home in years. She cleared my name with the Empire. All I thought it cost was your ship and a pod. If I knew what she planned..."
I turned in disgust and started walking to the door.
"Kirith, we'll think of something! Come back!"
The doors slid open and I stormed out.