Phydeaux’s shack

The light dropship lands, it’s engines gunning as five figures leap out, running to a safe distance as the ship lifts off and disappears, leaving only scorched ground to mark its absence.

I look up, the ghost image of thrusters cutting through my vision. I turn to the four people beside me, straightening the lay of my swords and checking the charge in my las-carbine. “Okay gents, this isn’t a kill operation, we’re here to meet a new friend,” I say quietly, leading the small party in a generally eastern direction.

A twig snaps. I freeze, holding up my hand and look around, the party crouching and scanning the area for signs of movement. Nothing. The full moon lighting only small pools of ground through the canopy like isolated islands.

I rise slightly and we move on more carefully, our black fatigues blending in with the surroundings. “Prefab, 200 meters N-N-E of our position, it’s light but it’s no Christmas tree. That the meeting place?” Comes the silent query. “Seems like it,” I respond, moving towards the building, “standard cordon, lets secure the area before going in. There’s an evil smell on the wind.”

We approach the crumbling, ageing concrete structure and spread out to search the area, my heart rate speeding up slightly. By the numbers came the reports, “nothing to report.” I nod, moving towards the only entrance, “Two with me, I’d like sentries posted outside. Unless they’re heat tracking, they shouldn’t know our numbers.” Halting just within the tree cover, eyeing the few meters of cleared forest surrounding the structure then cautiously move out followed silently by a broad Sebiestor and a wiry Civire.

The moment we reach the door, the area becomes flooded in bright light, blinding us. I hiss in irritation and look up, seeing the door open, “Dos Tu Mai Kielle?” a local accented male asks, his voice coloured lightly with worry or fear. I raise my weapon slightly, looking at the man, “who’s asking?”

“Sister Jimud said you’d be coming. Come inside, she’ll be along soon,” he responds, glancing at the two men behind me. With a silent command, the two men lower their weapons simultaneously, the host’s demeanour calming somewhat. With a nod, I lower my rifle, pulling the strap tighter.

We step in to the building then I walk toward a corner surveying the area as I go. The plain, whitewashed walls long turned yellow with age, it was sparsely furnished with a large, old table surrounded by chairs and a pair ancient couches set in a corner, a large desk with a display screen sat on it near two doors on the western wall. Defensive positions and possible exit routes going through my mind as I study the interior, “nice place you have here,” I comment, glancing at the tired-looking Gallentean man. “It’s not much. My name is Phydeaux,” extending his hand towards me. I look at from his hand to his face, bowing slightly. “You are a stranger, I do not make physical contact with strangers,” I say quietly, my voice dripping with malice. His face flushes as he sketches an unsure bow, “my apologies, Ma’am.”

The silent voice in my mind speaks, “vehicle approaching. Hovercar, no lighting nor identifiers.”

I nod to the two men that came with me, pulling the rifle across my chest and cinching it tighter as they take up defensive positions.

Seconds later, a speaker quietly chimes bringing a relieved look into our host’s face as he glances over at the display, “that should be Sister Jimud,” he says, moving towards the door, “how did you come here?” He enquires, “I didn’t pick up any transport.” I shrug, sitting on the arm of a couch. Another chime, obviously proximity systems to alert Phydeaux of people coming near his door. He opens the door and sighs relieved, “ah, Sister Jimud, welcome. Please, come in.”

A nondescript Amarr woman of average height and build walks in followed by three heavily armoured followers carrying large bore assault rifles. Both sets of bodyguards eyeing each other warily. She looks around then bows formally to me, her robes swishing against the floor, “thank you for agreeing to this meeting, Mrs. Kielle.” I smile then stand, bowing gracefully, addressing her formally in the Amarr tongue, “it’s a pleasure, Sister. But please, just Dossie would suffice.”

Her surprised expression speaking volumes, “I didn’t know you spoke Amarr.”

After exchanging pleasantries, I clear my throat, “now we’ve got socialising out of the way, what was it you wanted to see me about?”
Sister Jimud nods and sits at the table, gesturing towards a chair. “I’ve been asked to look for competent combat pilots to carry out some, uh, special tasks.” She slides a dataslate over to me as I sit, resuming where she left off, “as the reputation of the Sisters requires we cannot openly declare war on people, we need others such as yourself to work for us.”

I look the information over then look at the woman, “so what of your more clandestine, in-house operations?” I ask, studying her features. “I, uh, the Servant Sisters of EVE cannot be held responsible for the actions of individuals working under our name.” The response came as expected, confirming reports I’d read or heard from friends and family in the Guristas and from other sources. “So you’re asking me to openly declare war on the Amarr Empire for their role in the slave trade.”

With another nod, her expression guarded, “I know of your history with the Empire and the slave trade. Think of this as an atonement for past deeds.”

“Why should I? I mean, they used to pay me good money for escort duty,” I grin, remembering what turned the Empire against me. “That is – until they found out my other activities within their border.” She looks at my curiously, a question bubbling on her tongue. Instead, she nods then stands and bows. “Well, if you decide to help us, Mr. Phydeaux here will help you with any necessary arrangements. I’d suggest you listen to his suggestions.”

With that she leaves, her bodyguards glaring at mine on the way out.

“Well, that was fun,” I say, looking at the Gallente man, “you know who I am, give me a call with more information when you have it.” He smiles and nods, his voice eager, “yes, yes, of course. You’ll hear from me by the weekend, Ma’am.”

With the business concluded, we leave and head to the extraction point, mulling over what I’d learnt inside that concrete shack.

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