Friday, February 27, 2009

Get Some!

Solar System: Maire (0.7)
Region: Solitude
Sovereignty: Gallante Federation

With her back against the wall, eyes closed, Selina sat in comfortable silence in the booth across from Jassiel. About an hour before, she had shut down the engines of the Thorax cruiser, letting the ship drift silently in space while she detached herself from her pod to join her friend in the ship's diner for pleasant meal. For once she'd actually finished before Jassiel, an oddity since she was usually pestered crew members, many of which had never seen her before in person and simply wanted to meet her, to be able to tell their friends and family back home that they had the fortune of not only being on a ship piloted by a capsuleer but to have actually met that capsuleer in person. It was an honor that most would never experience.

At first Selina thought this to be a little over blown. She initially didn't think of herself as anything special. So she took some test back in the day. So what? It wasn't some immensely difficult test that she had to spend years, days or even hours studying for. She simply walked into a medical testing facility, lay'd quietly on a examination table while they poked and prodded her and ran numerous scans, sat through a lengthy session answering odd questions given by some clinically too-efficient head shrink, and filled out a few standardized forms. Again, so what?

Yet, when you compared the number of pod pilots flying about to the billions upon billions of people in the universe of Eve....well, it really began to put things into perspective. Never mind taking into account that even if a person were to pass the initial tests, most never survived in the pod for more than 2 weeks. It was known to every pilot that the initial two weeks were always the trial weeks. It seemed to be the point at which the body either chose to adapt to the rigors of the pod...or just sputter out of existence. It was for this reason that most pilot corporations did not except any pilots below that mark.

Just as Jassiel was finishing her meal, Selina having done so a short time ago already, the krono on her wrist began beeping the notification sound of a skill upload completion. Tapping it, a holoscreen materialized above it, showing her which skill had completed. At once her face lit up in what could almost be described as a more feral grin than excited one. Jassiel could only tip her head, curiosity forming in her own eyes at what the devilish pod pilot could be so wickedly excited about.

After taking a few seconds to switch out the skill "book" from her training implant near the back of her scalp, she finally turned her eyes towards Jassiel, the grin having never subsided in the least. "Seems we have a bit of shopping to do."

Jassiel smiled but the look of confusion remained. "Is that right?"

Nodding, Selina rose from the table. "Have all hands report to stations. Notify the crew of Poison Seed to have the Incursus prepped for the low sec run to Jita and to be ready for launch by the time we arrive at station." Pausing for a moment, her face twisting just slightly as she worked some thoughts over in her head. Reaching over, she plucked the pen from Jassiel's breast pocket, grabbed a napkin from the table dispenser and began jotting down a few items. "I want these modules and gear loaded into its cargo bay as well to take with us," she said before sliding it over to the woman across from her.

Taking it, Jassiel peered it over for a moment, glanced at Selina, looked back at the list, back to Selina and was just about to look at the list again when the realization hit her like a Dominix without an e-brake. Quickly she stood, already activating her comm link with the bridge and relaying the commands given to her. Selina stood as well, both girls quickly rushing from the dining facility towards the capsule chamber.

When they reached the ready room, Selina was quick to disrobe as Jassiel prepared the pod for pilot reinsertion. As she began lowering herself into the pod goo, Jassiel reached out and lightly touched her. "Can't resist asking....which model are you planning to get?"

Selina laughed lightly before giving her a wink. "Definitely the Ishkur my dear Jassiel. As if there was any other choice..."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flexing Muscle

Selina sat quietly listening to the chatter over the comms. Only perhaps an hour before, she had been presented by the corp directorate with a rather pleasant addition to her hanger, although temporary, to which she was now linked in and ready to go. The feeling of being in control of such a large ship was a bit intimidating at first and she had to remind herself time and time again that it really was no different controlling the Dominix class battleship she now sat in, compared to the little frigates and cruisers she had become so used to. But they needed heavy hitters and since she had the skills, it was suggested she finally put 'em to use.

It was so strange to see the reports she'd received from her engineering and weapons officers. The amount of firepower the ship was capable of spewing forth, the amount of damage it was capable of was certainly an intimidating ship indeed.

Strangely enough though, it wasn't the first battleship she'd received this past week. Parked nearby was another battleship that now belonged to her. The hull of a massive Megathron class battleship glistened in the lights from the hanger. Another imposing sight indeed. If the Dominix didn't intimidate her, and hopefully her enemies, the Megathron certainly did. However, reality is that both ships would stay parked in the hangers majority of the time. She'd purchased the Megathron for the sole purpose of doing high level missions with some of her corpmates until she was capable of doing them herself, and the Dominix battleship was given to her by the corp solely for the purpose of lowsec corp operations, such as the one she was about to embark on.

She was quickly brought back from her thoughts though as the call went out over the comms.

"All ships, commence undocking procedures."

Immediately Selina did one last pre-flight check before radioing control tower.

"Control, this is Big Momma requesting departure clearance to undock"

"Big Momma, this is Control. You are cleared for undocking procedures. Fly safe out there."

"Roger that Control. See you again in a few hours."

"I'll hold you to that."

Selina inwardly smiled as she disconnected the control comm and switched to the on-board ship comms. "Jassiel, notify the crew captain he is cleared to undock the ship."

"Understood Selina."

Almost immediately her vision went dark as the camera vision from the hanger's "eyes" disconnected. For a short while there, all she was darkness, a very disturbing feeling one might add, as the ship exited the station. This was a job left to the crew captain since there were a number of procedures and too many safety codes and red tape for a pod pilot to simply navigate their way out amongst all the other incoming and outgoing traffic. One could almost think of it like in the old days of the massive ocean vessels navigating through the harbors, where a heavily trained harbor master would board the ship and basically take command to navigate the ship down the narrow passages to its port. Either way, as soon as the ship had exited the hanger, her own camera drones were deployed and her "vision" once again returned, along with her control over the ship.

Already a fair amount of ships were amassed outside the station. Ships ranging from battleships, battlecruisers, logistics, force recons, and electronic warfare. Surprisingly, no small frigates but then they weren't particularly necessary for this op which would explain why she was in a battleship herself.

After a short moment, once all the ships had undocked and were now sitting idle outside the station, the fleet commander called for silence on the comms and began his run-down of operational procedures and the purpose and goals at hand. Basically, the fleet was headed back to main empire, engaging any pirates that were unfortunate to find themselves in range of their guns. Once in Empire, they would then be meeting up with another group, to include an Orca, a capitol industrial ship. From there it would become an escort operation to safely bring the Orca the roughly 20 jumps through low sec to their base in Solitude. With any other group, that might have been a nerve racking occasion. But with the magnitude and power of this fleet, it would take one hell of an opposing fleet to even consider engaging. For those who weren't already in a significant fleet, they would see the Orca on the scanners, but it would take a lot of very fast coordination to get a fleet together capable of engaging the escorting ships... just to take out the industrial ship.

After the brief spiel from the FC, and a quick report from the already deployed covert recons along the intended route, the FC gave the order to align for the first gate and shortly after they were on their way.

For the most part the trip to Empire was rather uneventful. There was one moment, about half way at a certain choke point, where a rather large group of pirates had set up camp, attempting to get some kills on any random travelers. The fleets recon reported the various ship types and after very short deliberation, the go-ahead was made for a battleship to jump in as bait. Sure enough, the pirates engaged at which point the rest of the fleet jumped through the stargate. As soon as she'd regained her senses from the jump, Selina only had enough time to scowl as the pirates quickly disengaged and ran. "Pussies!" she mentally screamed as the last of the pirate ships disappeared into the distance. Though yes, they would have most likely been decimated, their numbers in comparison to her fleets were fairly even and it would have certainly been an interesting fight. The recon was able to track down one of the pirate outlaws to the nearby sun and the fleet immediately warped to its location only to find the ship 100km out and with the appearance of the fleet near to his location, he once again turned tail and ran.

So with the pirates obviously not wanting to stand their ground, the order was given to move out and continue on.

Within due time, the fleet reached highsec Empire once again and docked up at the only station in system. After a short wait, the Orca and its small contingent arrived. With a quick check of its modules and systems, the fleet once again undocked and gathered outside the station. Instructions were reissued, checks were made to insure everyone was understanding their roles and the operational procedures and shortly after, they were back into lowsec, their headings taking them back along the same path they'd just basically cleared.

When they reached the system where the pirates were, sure enough, they were still present but with the arrival of the fleet, it seemed they had paid attention and wasted no time in retreating back to their safe spots. Thus the fleet passed with Orca in tow, all the way back to Solitude without a single confrontation. A successful escort mission accomplished.

As Selina approached their headquarters, the fleet having broken up shortly after they'd reached high security space in Solitude, it gave her a moment to reflect on the event. Granted pretty much nothing had happened and she hadn't gotten to fire off even a single volley, which did sadden her a bit, it was good either way to see yet another successful op by her corp and one that made her proud of the pilots she flew with. And she could certainly say she looked forward to flying with them more and more in the near future.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It Is What It Is.

Selina slammed the data disk down on her agent’s desk, her eyes blazing with fury. "Here's your god damned disk,” she sniped at him.

Slowly the man looked up at her. He’d seen her act this way countless times before and had numerous times considered dropping her from his list of capsuleer clients. She was fierce and short tempered. She was a firebrand that would easily light up at even the smallest attacks. If she wasn’t forewarned ahead of time….or better stated if combat wasn’t her reason for going out on a mission, you could always expect her to return with a face as red as her hair from anger. But undeniably, she was good. So good that even with all her tyrannical bullshit, he’d still hire her time and time again. “So what happened this time,” he asked wearily.

“I arrived at your damn coordinates, which, by the way, are the crappiest coordinates I’ve ever been given. I mean come on! Fifty kilometers out?! If I hadn’t decided to take my frigate, it would’ve taken me all damn day just to get to the station. I mean, what if I was in an unarmed shuttle? What if I…..”

“Alright,” he snapped, raising his hand to stop her. “I get it okay? My coordinates were a bit off. I’ll try to have better for you next time. Now….you was saying? What happened?”

Selina glared at him for a moment, not pleased at all about having been interrupted but chose to let that one slide…till later perhaps. “Like I said, I arrived at the coordinates and started burning towards the station. I get to roughly 30km out, when next thing I know, ten damn Serpentis ships drop out of warp right between me and the station. Speaking of which….seems they obviously had been given better warp coordinates…”

Rolling his eyes, he does a quick glance over of her and shrugs slightly. “Well it seems you made it out just fine and with the disk even, so I don’t see why it was too much of a probl…” quickly he cuts himself short. Too late of course. He knew better than to say that as immediately she goes off on yet another tirade. The girl’s range of insults and curses knew no bounds. Sometimes he wondered if that’s all she did at night was think up more insults to throw at people. Some were actually quite hilarious. Others were pure viciousness. And yet others were so riddled with foul language, every dead Gallentean mother was probably turning in their grave.

But finally, after what seemed like an hour, she calms enough for him to finalize the deal with her. He initiates the payment sequence for the agreed sum to which she checks immediately. Seeing the isk amount now showing in her account, she flashes her most award winning smile, as if she’d never raised her voice in her entire life, and politely excuses herself. He can only do his best to smile at her in return as she leaves. But as the hatch closes behind her, he already has the bottle of Thukker scotch in hand.

Waking the next morning, Selina plopped herself down at her desk. She grimaced at the slight reflection she saw in the monitor before switching it on. Checking her mail, she saw that the intended op into nullsec had been cancelled to which she was a bit surprised but wasn’t too concerned with either way. She was a bit suicidal but she wasn’t a complete maniac. She was well aware that any trip into nullsec around these parts was pretty much a one way trip. At least for that body. In fact, so far she had yet to visit the clone vats. Not once, in any combat engagement, had she not been able to get her pod out. Truth is, what she couldn’t understand was how some people managed to get pod killed as often as they did. Just keep your head and stay aware of your surroundings. Be aware of your damage remaining. Be aware of your heading. And spam the warp like mad. It really wasn’t that difficult. Perhaps it was shell shock that made pilots sit there for too long? She didn’t know. But either way, she was on a good run and had no intention of ending that any time soon. Besides, she kind of liked being in the body she was originally born into. The longer she could hold onto it, the happier she’d be.

As she was reading her mails, she decided to flip on the open comms. Promephius, one of her corporation’s fellow combat pilots was in the process of putting together a small group of cruisers and frigs to go hunting in lowsec space and immediately invited her along. Of course she wasn’t about to turn that down! She quickly hopped into the shower to rinse the grime away and upon exiting, sent a message to her attendant, Jassiel, to get the Incursus ready for launch, threw on her favorite robe, wrapped her hair in a towel and finally ran to her hanger. A couple of people couldn’t help but stop and chuckle as she rushed past them in all her barefoot glory. Most had seen her around often enough now that they were fairly used to her antics. In fact, they were more used to seeing her in her thick wool robe, barefoot, then they were used to seeing her in regular garments.

Arriving at her ship, the lead tech immediately handed her a load out spec sheet to which she made a few adjustments before handing it back. He quickly checked it and smiled before running off to get the changes done asap just as Jassiel appeared at the hanger’s entrance. Together the two women boarded the ship and headed for the pod center. By the time the requested ship modifications were completed, she was linked up within the pod and had her camera drone coming to life. It was only a few moments later that the ship was exiting the docking tunnel, headed into the blackness of space, ready for a wild ride of death and destruction. A battle for life and death. An area in space where it’s kill or be killed. Shoot or be shot. Fight and die, or run and live. A landscape of wrecks and frozen corpses. A dark canvas of laser beams, blaster flashes, and missile trails.

And yet, some four hours later it returned to that same docking tunnel, not having seen an ounce of combat.

Love it or hate it, welcome to Solitude.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Moving to Bigger Fish

Pushing the throttle to max and engaging afterburner, the Incursus screamed straight into the mix of roughly 20 rogue drones, hybrid blasters spewing forth their destructive trails of light. At first they scattered like marbles, surprised and confused by the sudden appearance of the ship in their midst. But when the realization sank in, the angry drones fired up their own weapons systems and carelessly launched themselves back towards the intruding frigate. It was at this point, another drone appeared in the fight, having launched from the bay of the ship. Now, between the frigate and the advanced tech2 drone, each blast of their weapon systems exposed the internals of a rogue drone, removing them instantly from the skirmish. One by one they were reduced to floating piles of scrap metal. However, with little thought for their own survival, the drones continued their onslaught. Eventually they chose to call for backup but like their former brethren, those reinforcements were also made short work of by the invading ship and its drone counterpart.

From the initial attack of the frigate to the fiery explosion of the last drone, it was all over in a matter of about 5 minutes. Space once again settled into its cold, lifeless void as the frigate recalled it's drone and warped away.

"Control, this is Incursus frigate, Poison Seed, requesting docking clearance."

"Docking request accepted, Poison Seed. Please relinquish all controls of your ship and you will be towed to your hanger."

"Roger that Control. Powering down."

As her camera vision went dark and her mortal body's senses returned, Selina reached behind her head and unplugged the wire leading from the pod to her implant. Planting her feet firmly on the bottom of the pod, she thrust herself upwards through the thick pod goo to the now open hatch where her seemingly too thin attendant, Jassiel, waited with a dry towel. "These flights are getting a lot shorter Miss Selina," Jassiel said with a bemused smile that barely creased the corners of her lips as Selina wiped the goo from her body.

Selina returned the smile with slight roll of her eyes. It wasn't from annoyance towards the girl. No. The girl was right. The missions, the targets, the was all becoming too ridiculously simple and monotonous. The agent she worked for just never seemed to have anything more challenging. In fact, half the time she felt like she was running the same mission she'd done only the day before, sometimes only hours before even. To top it all off, the pay was definitely not going to make her a very rich pilot any time soon. "Yeah....perhaps its time we moved on? Find ourselves a new agent to work for..."

"It certainly wouldn't hurt Miss Selina. The crew is getting restless. A lot of them joined or trained to be a crewman so they could travel, see what there is to be seen in the depths of space. Shoot. Most of the time we go out, we only take the Incursus. I mean...I know its definitely perhaps more than enough even for these missions we've been running, but it means majority of the crew are left behind to occupy themselves until our return and more importantly until it's their turn to go out with us."

Selina wiped the last of the pod goo from her skin and handed the towel back to Jassiel as she made her way to the shower, the girl following close behind. Stopping just short of the shower door, she bit her lip as she looked back at the girl in contemplation. "Alright, alright...I'll do a search on the aura network later today and see what I can come up with," she spoke as the girl grabbed another dry towel from the storage compartment and laid it neatly on the bench just to the side of the shower door. "I're right of course, we're definitely ready now to work for someone that will offer us better missions. Missions at a slightly higher level than what that drudge we've been working for can offer..."

Jassiel looked up at her with a small gleam in her eye. "My thoughts exactly Miss thoughts exactly."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ready for More

Selina sat cross legged in the thick recliner she'd had placed in her hanger. Some thought her a little odd in that regard when she could have been relaxing in the more comfortable environment of the pilot's lounge or some other fancy place within the station or even aboard one of her ships, but it just wasn't her way. She preferred the smells of the hanger, the smells of oil and burned metal from the welding torches. She liked feeling always in the mix of things whenever her ships were involved and this was the best place to do it from. So after much disputing and haggling with the hanger's safety coordinator she got her way and was allowed to keep the recliner amongst the other gear staged off to the side of the hanger.

Sighing, she looked up from the neocom pad. She'd been plucking away at the damn thing nearly all morning getting her assets in order, setting her skill uploads and reconfiguring them for the most optimal training time, reading and responding to personal and business evemails, making sure her finances were in order, purchasing ammo and whatever other equipment she'd be needing soon and going over standing transactions with the various factions and corporations. As if taunting her, she watch as one of her corp mates flew past her hanger at that very moment, on his way out the docking tunnel. But it wasn't just a longing to be out in space. She could have her crew mustered and on-board within minutes if she so desired. No. That wasn't it at all.

Selina had started taking missions in the low sec areas surrounding her corporations little high sec pocket. Many of her corp mates thought she was a little crazy for doing so and suggested some alternative agents in high sec where the risk was greatly reduced...but that was just the problem. To Selina, without the risk, it was tedious and a tad bit boring. In fact, every time she flew out to complete this mission or that for her low sec agent, she was actually hoping a pirate would come swooping in thinking he'd get an easy kill. Using a method that made doing the missions a bit longer, she was utilizing guerrilla style combat by swooping in just close enough to take out any stray mission targets before running back out, with hopes of drawing some more of the targets away from her original warp in location. The mindset behind it was two fold. First, to keep damage taken from the mission targets to an absolute minimum and second, to stay far enough away from the warp in point that it'd give herself time in the event of a pirate appearing, to determine if she'd have a chance of killing them or not. If not, she simply warped out. If so...well then game on. The distance would give her the time as well to switch out the ammo in her T2 blasters to the high quality stuff she always carried, acquire a target lock, burn in under full afterburner, engage her webber and scram and finally release her drone as her blasters opened fire. Soon she would be doing this in an assault frigate which would only increase her chance of a successful encounter.

Aye, its what she longed for and figured if she did it often enough....her chance of such an encounter would only increase 10 fold. Sure, she could just go out and try to hunt them down but at least this way it was much more constructive as at the same time she would be getting some work done for the agents in the region and making a little bit of isk in the process. Pity for them when they found out too late that she wasn't really there at all for the mission... Soon she would have t2 medium blaster capabilities. So at that point she might even consider bringing in a cruiser. Although that assault frigate was definitely a temptation she was hard-pressed to ignore.

Either way, she smiled to herself as she went back to working on her neocom pad. Aye, even with her blood lust raging, she maintained her patience. She knew her time will come....oh yes, her time will definitely come...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sleepless Thoughts

Selina sat in the darkness of her quarters for some time just listening to the sounds of the station around her. With no sun to rise or set, no day, no real night, time seemed to be almost meaningless in space. A person eats when they're hungry. Sleeps when they're tired. The "9 to 5 job" is no more than an ancient relic of a phrase from times all but forgotten when space flight was a very exotic affair. Now, what is perhaps millenniums upon millenniums of years since, the perpetual machine of man had no real end. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, it was a constantly churning beast. And yet, as if to offset the seemingly endless cycle, a system had been put in place long ago to give a momentary break. One hour each day, the immense aura network that drove all of New Eden would shut down. Story is that its to give the system a momentary break where it could cycle through and purge its memory of the day's trash or reload fresh data for the next 23 hours. System updates also took place if there were any and eventually the network would once again be reestablished and the universe would carry on as usual.

The strangest part, and something that always perplexed Selina was where is Aura? Perhaps its like the relic known as the internet, there was no real location. But then that can't possibly be true when Aura herself will tell you that she has a vast amount of neural links as if she is some sort of physical entity. She (and only being referred to as a she because it has a she voice) controls everything. The market system, the corporate and alliance control systems, the inventory and asset management systems, the communications systems, everything was managed and linked by this so-called Aura. Seemed just a bit intimidating really.

Selina shuddered a bit as she thought about it. If there is a god in all of Eve, this Aura would certainly have to be the closest thing to it. Maybe she'll do a search through the chronicles and information channels to see what more she can learn of this mighty "god" named Aura.

But now wasn't the time. Now was the time she was supposed to be sleeping and instead found herself, for reasons she couldn't quite gather, sitting here wide awake, staring at the darkness of the room surrounding her.

Finally frustrated with her inability to sleep, she rose from her bed and threw on her robe. Passing the need for shoes, she slipped quietly down the hall, doing her best not to disturb the others in the corporate HQ's sleeping quarters. Not really knowing anywhere else to go at the moment, she made her way to her hanger's viewing platform, looking out at where her Vexor cruiser sat suspended. It had been a long journey through a lot of low security sectors to get to this new HQ but she was glad she made the trip. As she'd neared the borders of the high security area where the station was located, she had begun taking note of the pilots in the systems and what corporations they were attached to, what sort of security statuses they held, making note of those that were obvious pirates and those that, although they seemed legit on the surfaced, still gave off a vibe of trouble.

Though the low sec systems were relatively quiet, there was still enough here to keep her thoroughly entertained. A few pilots had some pretty decent bounties on their heads, of which she was more than happy to relieve them of eventually. Aye, she laughed quietly to herself as she could already feel the tugs of all those bounties just flying around out there, waiting to be collected. Of course, she knew that a lot of those pilots would be far above her in skill and experience but after being issued her first "insured" clone, her last ounce of regard for her own life went right out the airlock. Yes, she now had implants, implants given to her by a fellow corpie but that really just made her fight harder. Either way, a pilot not afraid to die was a dangerous pilot indeed.

It was just unfortunate however that most of her ship's crew were not aware of this. The way she saw it, there were billions upon billions of people spread out in the universe and a vast majority of them dreaming of flying aboard a ship with a pod pilot at the helm. So many in fact, that if she were to get destroyed, it would take no more than the time it takes to reawaken in a new clone, as it would to find a new crew. And though petty to her, the pay she gave them for their services compared to that of which a normal ship would pay or some medial job planet-side or in a station....well...they knew the risks.

Selina smiled and gave a slight, flirty wave to one of those crew members now as he passed the window, guiding a lift stacked with ammunition towards the cruiser. Locking eyes with her for the briefest of moments, he turned a few shades of red before quickly looking away. She laughed softly for a moment at this. It still tickled her how regular folk got so jittery in the presence of pod pilots.

After standing and watching the workers for a few moments longer, she finally turned and with a small sigh, made her way back to her quarters. Still a few more hours before she had to be up. Might as well try and get at least a little more sleep before her busy day starts...

Monday, February 02, 2009

Dieing to Live - Pt 6

…Weapon Systems…...Online…
…Propulsion Systems…Online…
…Navigation Systems…Online…”

The computers voice rang in her head as it went through the standard start up checks. Normally it would be much quicker just to let the Aura system do the start up checks but Selina liked knowing through both visual and vocal confirmation that all systems were operational. As much as the pod pretty much made her a part of the ship, being able to feel out each individual system as it came online made her, in her own way, a more coherent part of the ship. Not to mention as well that every microsecond in this upcoming engagement could count towards success or defeat and knowing, or rather feeling, the capacity of every system would determine the course of events with each of those passing microseconds.

“…All systems are now online and fully operational.”

Slowly the view from her camera drone came into focus and she could see her own ship sitting silent in the depths of empty space. She had always loved this feeling of being outside her ship. Loved the open space freedom it gave her to look around at all that was happening around her rather than being limited to the constricted views of the ships thick windows. But no time for that now. Must stay focused.

Bringing up her overview, she selected the predetermined tab that showed her nothing but stations and other ships within the area. She then did a quick double check to make sure the proper ammunition was loaded into the weapons systems before aligning her ship to the moon in which her target would soon arrive. And she didn’t have long to wait.

Right on time, her scout notified her that a transport ship had arrived at the remote station and as the datacard had informed her, no escorts were accompanying the ship either. Quickly she fired up the warp drive and in just a short moment her ship was dropping out of warp near to the station. Immediately, she started the targeting sequence and activated her blasters to begin firing as soon as a target lock had been acquired. The on-board computer notified her that by doing so, she was committing a criminal act and the consequences of such. Selina only smirked and dismissed the notification, refocusing on the task at hand. The small, light transport ship quickly began taking evasive action, turning to align itself to warp out as it was still too far from the station to dock but it was not fast enough. Coming within range, her target lock acquired, Selina’s blasters opened fire on the vessel just as she activated the warp scrambler as well. As her blasters started cutting into the ships armor, she could already see the escape pods jettisoning from the sides of the ship. It was at about this time that the Concord ships started to arrive.

The ships locked on to her faster than she could blink and opened fire. With only the first volley, all of her shields and nearly half her armor was stripped away. But she was prepared and just as she had calculated beforehand, the hauler went up in a massive ball of light as the gases within it found their way into open space….only moments before her own ship became engulfed in a fierce explosion, violently shaking her body within the nearly indestructible pod. However with her mind in essence detached from her body, felt none of it, allowing her to stay focused and quickly engaging the pod’s warp drive. As the warp bubble engulfed her, it was then she finally gave a mental sigh of relief.

“Did you get him?”

“Aye, we got him. That was a lot of escape pods to sort through…but we got him.”

“And the others?”

“Dispatched as instructed. The rest of our payment?”

“Sending it now.”

Alrighty…then it seems we’re finished. You’ll find him, as requested, in the hauler’s cargo bay, orbiting Imya II. And if you ever need help with anything again, by all means. Let us know.”

“Will do. And thank you.”

“Not a problem. Been a real pleasure.”

The comm clicks as the communication link is ended.

Selina stood before the door of the cargo hold breathing deeply, preparing for what lay beyond. She had planned so long for this. Everything had gone perfectly. But now, here she was about to face him and it was now that she began questioning herself whether she even could. It would just be easier to open the cargo bay’s airlock and let the vacuum of space sort it out.

Before she could dwell on it any longer and possibly talk herself out of it, she bit her lower lip and swept her hand across the access pad, the door sliding open before her, the sound echoing across the enormous, and for the most part empty, dark expanse of the cargo bay. Selina nearly laughed at the dramatics the hired hands had staged for her as she entered. About 100 feet away, the solitary man seated in a chair with a lone spotlight placed between the door and where he sat, preventing him from seeing any who might enter. Tied securely with electrical wire to the chair, his hands bound behind him, he did his best to lean to one side, attempting to catch sight of whoever it was that had entered. "Who's there," he called. "What the frack do you want with me?"

Biting her lips she moved forwards, closing the distance but stopping behind the light shining in his face. She stood for a moment silently, looking him over in complete disgust. He was the same man she once knew but the years in prison had done little for his appearance. Dark circles beneath the eyes, deep creases in the skin, even a couple small scars from probably some random prison brawl or another. His hair was matted and dirty, or what little was left of it. To Selina, he appeared to be a pale shadow of the once proud man he was.

"Talk to me you piece of shit," he yelled, spittle grotesquely flying from his lips as he spoke.

She waited a moment longer as he struggled a bit, attempting for what was probably the hundredth time to escape from his bindings. The hired help certainly seemed to have done a good job though as his attempts were clearly futile, the bindings barely budging. Finally she stepped from behind the light, letting just enough of it shine upon her to allow him to see. He narrowed his eyes and looked her over. "Who the hell are you?"

Selina tipped her head at the question. For a moment it surprised her that he didn't know who she was but then she was still a girl when last she'd seen him. She contemplated the answer to his question as well. No, she was not Selina Vallete, the girl whom this man had contributed in creating. Just as she no longer saw him as her father. He was a virus that had taken her mother, a disease that had to be eradicated. She was the antidote.

"Long ago you murdered a woman," she started.

"Yeah? So? What the hell do you think I was in prison for," he spat back at her though a slight look of questioning crossed his face.

"Yes, you were tried for your crime and sentenced for the killing of that woman... but you have yet to pay for the cruelty, for the torment you brought upon your own child. Your time to pay for that crime has come."

The man narrowed his eyes, attempting to gain a better view of the woman. Slowly the realization came to him "Selina..?"

In silence she nodded, letting the realization sink in to the man's brain. "Oh my god Selina. I am so sorry," he pleaded. "You are right. What I did was horrible. I can't even imagine how much I must have hurt you. I've wanted so much to apologize to you. To beg you to forgive me. When I saw you in that courtroom, saw the way you avoided looking at me, it.."

"Enough," she yelled, cutting him off. "What you did is unforgivable. Prison isn't good enough for you. Hell is where you belong."

"Selina please, forgive me. I'm not the same man I was then. I wish I could take back what I did but I can't."

At this she smirked before turning and walking to a crate nearby she'd had loaded before this little operation. "Your right, you can't take back what you did. So for that reason, you will have to pay for it. As I said, prison isn't good enough for you. Hell is where you belong. But since I don't believe in a heaven or hell, I'll just have to make due with what I can." She opened the crate and withdrew a mobile IV unit. Wheeling a cart over next to him, she placed the unit on it and withdrew the needle.

"What are you doing?" His eyes looked between her and the needle in both confusion and fear.

She grinned as she twisted his arm a bit, finding a vein and plunging the needle in. "In about 20 minutes here, the microwarp drive will activate and the ship will leave orbit. Its heading is the system's star. Not really sure how long it will take with just microwarp to get there but let's just say awhile. Of course, I would hate for you to die of starvation prematurely or have a heat stroke too early before it even gets close enough to the star and you miss out on the rest of your journey, thus the IV. For awhile the ship's systems will of course compensate for the heat but eventually, the closer you get to the star, the systems will begin to which point, you'll basically be slowly boiled. Like I said.... if there is no hell, I'll make due with what I can."

The man stared at her wide-eyed. "You can't do this..."

Laughing, she leaned in close. "Unfortunate for you, I can and I am."

She then leaned over and gave him a gentle kiss on his forehead, leaving a dark imprint of her lips from the lipstick she wore. "Eventually the starfire will consume you and you will die....when you do, perhaps then I can truly live." she whispered before briskly turning, leaving behind his pleas then curses.

As her ship sped away, Selina willed her eye, her camera drone, to pan around and watch just as the freighter's microwarp engaged, thrusting it free of its orbit and catapulting it towards the distant star.

"Goodbye......father..." she mentally spoke to herself in a murmur as she engaged her own warp drive, quickly leaving the system behind, fully ready now to make a name for herself in the vast universe known as Eve.