Once in Ishomilken I rented a small apartment close to the hanger where my ships were stored and kept functioning by the repair crews. After unpacking I decided to try the local bar. On arrival the place was empty, not surprising for the early morning, most of the patrons would either be nursing a hang over in their bunks or started out early to make some ISK. No one was in sight to serve me so I sat on one of the stools and started pursuing some logs I had downloaded.
The information I had downloaded were the new list of ships destroyed by The Guristas Associates over the last 24 hours. I started with the most recent and looked and the list of people and ships that were involved in each engagement. Most of the Alliance seemed to favour larger ships. They seemed to use large numbers of Battle Cruisers, Heavy Interdictors and even the awesome Battleships. I clicked my screen over to show the ships available for sale in the region. I had had experience flying Gallente ships in the past, the Vexor being among them, after scribbling down some details I decided to see about getting myself something to eat.
As no one had yet appeared to serve me I clicked into the station database to see if there were any other establishments around where I could find some food. There was one other. The Pirates Warren. On the other side of the station. I decided to give it a try. I pocketed the datapad I had been reading and patted my pistol holder to assure myself that I was there and left the deserted bar. Walking for about 10 minutes to the other side of the station I saw barley a soul. The station seemed deserted. I had looked through the details of the station before arriving and knew that there was not a lot of money to be made in this system. Not from legitimate sources anyway.
Upon arriving at The Pirates Warren I almost ran head long into a young woman as she left. She had the look of a Caldari, high cheek bones, small mouth, large blue eyes, and her long black hair was scooped back into ponytail. She wore the overalls of a ship mechanic. She glanced at me and smiled before hurrying towards one of the stations many ship hangers. I entered the bar to find it a lot more active than the last. I placed my order with the rough looking bar assistant. Lighting a cigarette I took a look around the bar. Focusing on each patron for a second to commit there features to my cortical implant and assessing any threat levels.
There were a few men in one of the booths that lined the walls of the bar. They were wearing long tatty brown leather coats over black overalls. Some adorned with decoration or armour plating, some not. All had holstered pistols at there waists. They were talking in hushed voices and pursuing a datapad and a number of parchments. Even with a hearing implant I could not hear their discussion.
I moved on to the next patron. He was also wearing a brown leather jacket but this one had yet to lose it’s new shine. He wore black denim trousers and black boots. A silver chain hung from his left wrist. He has no visbale weapons and was reading a news sheet while sipping a coffee. The last two customers were female. They seemed to be mechanics of some sort. Tool belts at there waists and grey overalls. Not ship mechanics as they normally wore black overalls and didn’t carry their tools with them, station maintenance probably.
The bar assistant arrived with refined bacon, genetic eggs and wheat toast all washed down with some coffee. It wasn’t bad, well worth the 20ISK paid. I ordered another coffee and started reading a news sheet which had been left on the table next to mine. I started with the sport pages as normal the Minmitar league had started the previous evening with all 40 teams in action. My money was on the Ualkin Dogs this season. There starting line up was one of the best in years. I thought I better try and find a betting shop sooner rather than later to make sure I got in while the odds were still high. The Ualkin Dogs had one there first game 23-0 with no disqualification or losses of life. Not a bad start at all!
I was just finishing reading about the destruction of one of the other teams when the lone customer finished his coffee and stood up. He glanced around the room, nodded to the bar assistant and started toward the door. His path took him past the group of three men, they stopped talking as he approached and their hand started to lower towards their weapons. ‘Guristas Scum’ one of them muttered as he passed. The man carried on walking but I did notice his eye’s flash. He must of heard the insult but decided not to react.
‘Did you here me you pirate scum?’ asked the man who had already spoken.
‘I did, whats you problem?’ asked the pirate.
‘One of your fucking pirate friends destroyed my Hoarder last night. It had over 20 million ISK worth of cargo! You owe me that money!’
‘I’m sorry but that’s the law of space. If you were stupid enough to lose it then you don’t deserve to be flying out there. I don’t owe you a penny. Take it up with the station officials.’
‘You…’ The man who had lost his ship and his two friends shot out of there seats and un-holstered their weapons.
‘You fucking will give me back my money you piece of shit.’
The pirate gave a sigh but stayed completely still ‘Trust me you do not want to do this. You will not win’
I had seen enough. I started to rise from my seat; my hand on my weapon but the pirate gave me a look that plainly told me to stay where I was. Winked and then, with a flick of each wrist a knife appeared in the throats of 2 of the men. The third man, the one who had lost his ship and cargo, raised his pistol to fire but the bar assistant was quicker. Lifting a projectile shotgun from under the counter he shot the pilot in the chest, lifting him up and slamming him against the wall.
‘Cheers Reciter, I wasn’t sure if I could get that last one before he got me. He was quicker than I thought he would be.’
‘Not a problem dude, they picked the wrong bar to threaten a pirate in. you would think the name would give it away wouldn’t you?’ said Recieter, the bar assistant with a laugh and while putting the shotgun back under the counter.
The pirate was leaning over the corpses of the dead men, withdrawing his knives from the throats of the two he had killed. Wiping the blood off the knives on the trousers of the dead men ‘Yeah, you would think so wouldn’t you’
The pirate stood up and looked over at me. ‘Reciter, can you drag these guys out to the refuse shoot. I think we’ll get rid of them without inviting the autorities in this time. Also make sure you get their tags and codes if you can. Might as well have a look who they were and what they fly’.
‘Sure, no problem’ Reciter agreed and started to get large black bags from under the counter to wrap the bodies in.
Meanwhile the piarte had started towards me. I lowered my hand to my holster, just in case it was ‘get rid of the witness’ time. The two female mechanics had barely looked up during the fight, used to it I guessed, maybe they were friends or family. The pirate sat opposite me.
‘Mail Lite right?’
‘Might be, who’s asking?’
‘My name is Lacham, I fly with The Black Rabbits Academy and I read the application you made to join us. I noticed you as soon as you came in. You can take your hand away from your weapon now.’
I did, I had read of this pilot whilst researching the corporation and alliance. He had a long list of kills, longer than most within the academy.
'How did you know it was me? I didn't provide a description or holopic.'
'You think we don't have ways of screening pilots who have applied? Just take it all at face value and bleieve everything you say on your data pad? You think we're that lax about security?'
I guess that made sense.
'Did you go all the way back?'
'Yes' Lacham confirmed, looking me directly in the eye.
'So you know...' I hesitated.
'Yes we know, but we will discuss that later' Lacham looked at the datapad he had just taken from his pocket.
‘Why do you want to fly with us, and more importantly why would I want to fly with you?’ Lacham asked. In the background I could see the bodies of the three men being wrapped in black plastic by the bar assistant.
‘Because I want to learn this way of life. I want to prove myself in combat against the biggest ships, show that strategy overwhelms might. You will get a dedicated, hardworking wingman in me. You will get support and loyalty. And if everything works out. You will get a pirate’
‘Come with me’ said Lacham.
I stood up, left a few ISK on the table as a tip, and followed Lacham out of the bar, stepping over the last of the bodies on the way out.