The handwritten letter felt like lead in my pocket as I returned to my Captain's quarters. The unrelenting door slid easily aside as I neared and closed effortlessly as well behind me. A quick message to the Nao Sisters updating them on the situation led to an onslaught of incoming messages from them, some messages congratulating me on the clone upgrade, others warnings of pending traps or scams, all of which I were expecting.
I called for my Drake to be prepared for launch and realized I had not re-fit the thing since moving here. Eglerin warned me to take a powerful ship; the Drake was probably the best I had at the moment. Putting my Pistol and the letter in the dry compartment of my pod, along with my clothes, I entered my Pod and boarded the Drake, then began a meticulous process of flying around to get the thing fitted and up to combat state. Once finished, I set my course for Arnon IX - Moon 3, where there was a Sisters of Eve station, and the recipient of the 'Important' letter.
The system seemed busy as I jumped in and warped to the station. Looking around, I noticed that my ship was probably the biggest, as most were flying frigates and destroyers. This system was close to what was referred to a 'Starting System' or a system which has the facilities to create Capsuleers and where most of them in the area originate from. Their current skills probably only allow them to fly what I see anyway.
I docked and exited my pod, dressing quickly and remembered to take the letter and my Parapistol, then headed to the door that still seemed to taunt me. It didn't open right away and I nearly slammed my face into it, then the lock disengaged and opened to a blindly lit hallway. This time, there was no escort and I was forced to look up the interior map of the station on my Neocom.
I spent most of my time on a moving sidewalk, staring down at a massive city like structure below me, mostly consisting of tall buildings and offices. This seemed to be a large Corporate office station for the SOE, and everything was very sharp, clean, and professional. I took a public transport to the main Security office and entered a tall building covered in reflective glass. The receptionist directed me to an elevator and advised to go to the top floor.
Once at the summit, The elevator door opened to a small lobby area and another receptionist dressed in a uniform, staring lazily at her terminal screen.
"Can I help you?" she mumbled.
"I'm here to see Sister Alitura." I said.
"Do you have an appointment?"
"I'm not sure." I said. Whether or not Eglerin had called to say I was coming was not confirmed.
"Sain Darkwing." I said. She typed on her keyboard and my file appeared on the screen. It took a few moments of her reading to notice that it said I was a Capsuleer.
"An Empryean? Here in station?!" she exclaimed, straightening up in her chair. Again, she seemed nervous just as Eglerin had been before. I know that being a Capsuleer held a sort of prestige among other people, a sort of celebrity status, if you will, but this was the first time I saw the effects of it first hand. It was a little embarrassing.
"Yes. I have a message I need to deliver."
"Why not just contact her from your ship as the other Capsuleer's do?" She asked. I produced the envelope and she eyed it curiously, "Ah, one moment." She pressed a button and spoke again, "Miss Alitura, I have Sain Darkwing to see you."
"Please patch him through." she flatly replied.
"No, I mean, He's here to see you. Personally." she added. There was a silence on the other end.
"Right in front of me." The receptionist replied.
"Please send him in right away!" Alitura nearly shouted. The door beside the front desk slid open revealing a large office similar to Eglerin's, with the large window overlooking the front docking bay. I entered and she, at least got up to greet me at the door.
"Welcome. I am honored you would go out of your way to see me personally." she said, "But now is not a good time."
"I have a letter for you." I said, producing the envelope. She hesitated and snatched it from my hands then took a seat at her desk to read it over. Once finished, she sighed heavily.
"I ask for help, and they send me a capsuleer. You are a capsuleer,
aren't you? An immortal pilot who subverts the rules of life and death,
who shapes the fate of empires? You'll have to excuse my skepticism. I
work with a humanitarian organization, the Sisters of EVE. I've seen
your kind hasten the deaths of millions every day. You expect me to
believe that you're different? To prove yourself, your actions will have
to do the talking. We've just received a distress call from a ship
called the Damsel, and you're the closest aid available right now. Get
out there and save some lives. Prove to me you're not just another
murderous liar with a god complex. With all the power at your disposal,
you certainly could be a force for good. And one thing is certain: Good
is in dire need of allies these days." she said, almost forcefully. I recoiled at her sudden demands and realized this was the trick. It was no 'love letter' as I had thought, but a request to take a mission for the SOE. I suppose Eglerin was afraid I would decline which was cause for subversion. Still, I did not take kindly to being played like this.
"Yes. I am a Capsuleer, and I understand that most people would think of us in that way. But I am different. I do give a shit about everyone and I do not disregard life as you claim I do." I snapped at her, "I wasn't told this would be a mission for you. All I was asked to do was deliver that letter and I have done so. But if you and your organization need help to save lives, all you had to do was ask."
"You didn't know what this letter was?" she asked, a smile formed on her face, "Eglerin is a sneaky bastard."
"You knew it was from him?" I ask.
"It's his handwriting. And he's the only one who would send a letter like this." she replied, "Please do what you can. Prove to me and all of us that there is some good left in some Empyrean's hearts."
I remember the nervous look the Receptionist gave me as I left and finally realized the reputation that Capsuleers had among the general populace. It's understandable though, when one loses the fear of death, then life becomes less valued. I vowed to prove them wrong. Sister Alitura was right. I would need to prove myself through my actions as words are rarely trusted these days.
I approached the coordinates that she gave me and warped into a ship graveyard. 'The Damsel' was a mere wreck, along with several other battleships scattered around in pieces and drifting quietly in space. As I approached, I was contacted again by Alitura.
"It seems CONCORD was faster to respond, but your backup was definitely appreciated. There were a handful of survivors picked up. They‘ve been taken to various facilities in the area wherever vacancies could be found."
"I'm glad some could be saved, at least." I reply. My heart went to my throat as I slowly cruised around the wrecks, noting the twisted metal and several scorched bodies floating around. I sent my scan information back to Alitura and she replied a few minutes later.
"We got some interesting information out of your trip. It seems no one
fired on the Damsel. Something must have happened inside the ship. We'd
like you to track those survivors down, see if you can get any
information about the ship's path, pilot, or cargo. We need to know what
caused this disaster. CONCORD is the first logical step. I’ve gotten in
touch with CONCORD Agent Tevis Jak, who may have information for you.
His location is being uploaded to your NeoCom: he's currently acting as
an ORE agent. Go see if you can find a piece of this puzzle."
"Roger." I replied. Time to head to Tar and find this CONCORD Agent. Something about this situation intrigued me. Maybe it was the mystery and drama surrounding it, but it kept me pressing on to follow this lead as far as it will take me. Reward was the last thing on my mind at this point. There were lives at risk here. I was determined to change people's minds about Capsuleers the best I can.