The Beyond Our Sins Grill

Docking in the Minmatar station, my Megathron-class Battleship slipping into the bay. Glancing over the systems and making sure everything is set as secure, I disembark.

Striding towards the grill, I hold just beside the entrance. The sound of a friend and an unknown voice, “Bill, I assume,” comes the stranger’s voice. “Yes. Can I help you?” William D – Bill, owner of the Beyond Our Sins Grill asked. “I had a message for you,” this sounds like my cue. Walking in, I stand a few meters behind the stranger, an Intaki male. “From whom?” Asks Bill, looking at his datapad, “make it snappy. We don’t allow slaves or slavers here any more and my patience is thin.”

“Slave owners I understand… What’s wrong with a man that’s in the service of another getting a drink?” He looks Bill. “I’m not seeking to enslave anyone. I just want to relax for a bit. Is that wrong?”

“What’s your message?”

“I said I had one. I don’t anymore. I was supposed to tell you that you won. And that you’ll never see her again.”

I glance at bill then nod towards the Intaki, “want me to kill him?”  Bill shakes his head. “I’m not uncivil. See who again?” He asks the Intaki. “Can I finish my drink at least before I die?” He looks over his shoulder at me. “Sheesh. What the hell did I do? Ithiria.” He turns to the Bill and pushes his tobacco pack towards him. Bill snorts, “what good is that if you don’t have anybody to enjoy it with?” He vanishes into the office and slams the door before anybody can respond.

The Intaki stranger blinks and turns to look at me. “I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t kill me…”  I shrug and order some tea, “Not that I would be able to complain if you did, it’s just. I don’t see the reason. Unless you shoot at every stranger walking inside this place to have a drink and give a message. That, though it may be company policy, might be bad for business.”

“Shoot?” I ask, “the only guns I have with me are on the Megathron I have parked in the hangars, I’m just bored and wanted some sport.”

“Well, that changes things,” he replies. “If my death would be entertaining to you, I’ll make you a deal. We can entertain one another. Usualy I’d say, ladies first but… It’s kind of hard to entertain me when I’m a corpse so I’ll go first if you don’t mind. Let me finish my drink, and then you can kill me. How’s that?” Glaring at the Intaki, my hand idley resting on the hilt of my dagger. “This isn’t my place, I only drink here. I also don’t like the idea of cleaning up blood since I cleaned my boots this morning. I would – however finish your drink and leave quietly before I wipe your stain off New Eden.” Bill comes out of his office and grabs his pitcher of tea. “Let’s at least be civil,” drinking straight from the pitcher, not looking any less angry. The Intaki sets his glass down and turns to look at the me, “in what way did I offend you exactly. Or do you enjoy killing anyone you cross? What the hell did I do?”

I shrug, “Other then annoy a friend?” I ask. Glaring at me, Bill says “You came to deliver a message I’d have liked to hear before last night is what you did. But you’re right. You did nothing wrong, Dossie, its not his fault.” As he continues drinking his tea straight from the pitcher. “I’m sorry Bill,” he shrugs, “I can call you Bill, right?”

“I don’t give a fuck anymore what you call me. Call me dumbass if you like.”

“No, if I did that… Your friend would stab me. And I’d stain her boots. And we can’t have that. So I’ll stick to Bill.” He replies, looking at me. Bill glares at me without bothering to hide the anger in his face, then shrugs. “Whatever.” I chuckle, “just be happy that I’m in a good mood.”

“Look,” the Intaki says. “Personally, I have no clue what happened between Ithiria and yourself. I know she’s a good woman. I don’t know you, but you also seem like a good fella. If you weren’t, you would’ve had me killed by now.” Bill smiles dryly. “Killing’s not as fun as the things that can lead up to it anyway. And no slave owner is a good person in my eyes. Not any more.”

“Now, why would you say that?” The stranger asks, “I’ve met some slave owners who are pretty nice. Ithiria’s one of them. As far as I’m aware, every slave she holds in her service is a willing one to her.” Not hiding his disdain, Bill snorts. “She’s a thief of people. And friends. But I wouldn’t expect people who have to buy their friendships to understand.”

The stranger, looks at the bar owner, “well Bill, I’d be glad to agree with you but that’s where you’re wrong. As long as I’ve known Ithiria and I’ve known her for a while, she hasn’t taken under her wing anyone who is unwilling. I know it’s…Odd, hard to understand to ‘freedom fighters’ such as yourself why would anyone willingly trade away his freedom. But a lot of people do.”

The conversation got lost in mental limbo, all inconcequential drivel in my eyes. As Bill goes back into his office, the Intaki says, “must’ve been a woman.” I glare at him and walk away, sitting in a corner, watching him intently. “You know… You can at least keep me company while I drink plus if you do decide to kill me. It’d be easier if I was within reach and all?” He looks at me, smiling. I shrug and take another sip of her tea, “I’ll not kill you because Bill hasn’t asked me to.” Shrugging lightly and turning back to his nearly finished drink. “It’s not like I get out very often. I was hoping to talk to some people, spend some time. Thought that, delivering that message might give me the chance to talk to outsiders for a while. Must’ve left my socialising skills back home. Bill nearly punched me and you want to kill me. I haven’t changed after-shaves in a while, so it must be me.”

I chuckle and move back, closer to the bar, my hand lightly resting on the hilt of her dagger. “It’s nothing against you, it’s the situation. If you’d come under better circumstances, I’d be more civil.” He sets his glass down and turns to look at me, “look. I’m a capsuleer. Getting killed by a beautiful woman while drinking is the closest to heaven I’ll ever get. Alcohol and good company the last things I’ll experience before dying? Fine by me. However, it’s the reason that eludes me. Is it because I’m a slave?”

“No, not at all.” I smile, “I personally have no problems with slavery.”

“Well, good, me neither obviously. Especially given the fact I signed myself up for it.” He replies, I smile, “I’m curious why a capsuleer would want to become a slave. Maybe I’m too used to being powerful and commanding.”

“That’s exactly it.” He smiles as well, oblivious to the thoughts in my mind, “I’m a believer that a man should experience everything in life at least once. Some things require a great state of drunkedness to experience others not so. I have heard that people, sometimes, become willing slaves. Coming from Federal space I never understood it. My upbringing, see. I had and still have friends who fight against the Empire, along with the State. But. The State, I understand. Neighbours and all. But the Empire? They told me it’s because, slavery is bad. Slavery is bad, that’s what I was taught.I was given all the arguments, the way slaves are punished, killed, treated. However. I wanted to see for myself. I am not the type of person to own a slave. So I thought that the other way around would be the best way for me to experience the life, see what it is like. Understand what I was fighting against and ‘most’ importantly, if I should be fighting against it. Does that theory make any sense?” I nod, holding my expression distant as if in deep thought. “It makes sense. But power is something I could never give up.”

“That’s understood,” he nods. “Besides, I am already thinking of my leaving the Empire. I’ll announce it to my owner today or tomorrow. My research is complete. And that is something that, perhaps if Bill would stick around, he’d come to understand. That I am certain, one hundred percent,that my owner would either not chase me. Or would give me good enough time to leave the Empire before she did.”

“Some slavers view their slaves as prized possessions. It might not be so easy.”

“Life isn’t easy but… Come on Ms. I survived death in boots today. I think I can manage an escape.” He smiles, not knowing how much of a knife-edge he’s perched. I shrug and hop onto the bar, perching there as I lift a foot onto his lap, the stiletto heel intentionally digging into his thigh slightly. “I like my boots. They were given to me by a friend.” He sets his glass down, his body not reacting to that gesture. “I’d hate to be responsible for staining it with my blood then. It’s a beautiful footwear.” I chuckle mirthlessly and lower my foot. “I’m normally a civil person and tend to get on with a lot of people, it makes my job a lot easier.”

“What is it exactly that you do if I may ask, Ms…?” He halts for a moment. “Forgive me, I didn’t catch your name and I wouldn’t wish to use my datapad to do so. I generaly prefer to ask.” He smiles. “Kielle. I do odd jobs for cash.” I respond, “and you are?”

“Now that can be interpreted in many different ways… Mornkai Lefayet.” He offers his right hand up to me, “a pleasure.” I bow my head slightly, ignoring the offered hand. “I did wash up before I came here, Ms.Kielle,” he chuckles, I shrug in reply and take another sip of my tea. ” Usually a raised hand contains a weapon where I come from, so it’s concidered an impolite gesture.”

“I’m sorry…” he replies. “I wasn’t aware of that though I’ll remember in the future.” He changes topics swiftly, “odd jobs… Could you give me an example? And your fee?” I shrug and look directly into his eyes. “My jobs order from expensive to an Empress’ ransom and they can be very odd.”

“Fair enough…” He doesn’t push any further. He simply looks up at me curiously before reaching for his tobacco pack, lighting up a cigarette. Shrugging, I look at my chron and pull a cigar out of my jacket pocket. He lifts his lighter up, close to my face,  not moving eye contact, I light my cigar then sit back. “Thank you,” I say. Nodding and lowering his lighter, he looks back at me, “a Megathron parked right outside huh? Could I see it?”

“I’ll make sure to pass the viewports on my way out. It’s not quite a Vindicator, but she’s still a very good vessel.” I reply, “I haven’t seen one from up close is all. I was wondering if you’d do me the honor of giving me a tour. Though if you can’t be bothered, I quite understand.”

“I have to leave in 20 minutes to meet some clients. Another time maybe.” Nodding lightly in understanding, “I would like that,” he says, “do I have your permission to contact you or am I facing a potential death sentence? Help me out here.” I grin, “that’s just a risk you’ll have to take.”

“Fair enough, I’ll bring a drink with me as well then. The ideal death and all.” He smiles in return as I chuckle. “I have a large selection of fine spirits and wines aboard my Harbinger, I’ll transfer some to my other ships.” Mornkai nods and smiles as he rises, “it’s been a pleasure, really. To get introduced to you, your dagger, your boots and ‘almost’ to your Megathron.” I incline my head slightly. “I may start to like you yet, Mornkai,” he inclines his head in return “I’m already way ahead of you on that one. Till next time, take care of yourself Ms.Kielle,” he says as he leaves the Grill.

I sigh and start writing in her datapad, shrugging as I put the datapad away, I finish my tea then leave for the hangars, immediately setting destination for home.

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