It was an odd return to Arnon to see Sister Alitura. The investigation hit a standstill and she seemed too busy to talk to me when I docked. It was a good thing I didn't bother to get out of my ship this time as when I contacted her, that nervous looking receptionist answered my call.
"I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Darkwing, but Sister Alitura is out at the moment. She left me with authorization to complete your current mission and issue payment." She said. I saw my wallet icon flash in my mind but I didn't really care about the money.
"I was to ask for more leads on survivors of the Damsel." I replied. The receptionist seemed confused. Perhaps she was not privy to that information.
"I was told to tell you that she would contact you again when she had more leads." she replied.
I thanked the young woman and undocked, returning to the SOE station where our Corp had settled down. I spent a few weeks mining and building things, trying to make money but always waiting for answers to a mystery that kept bugging me in the back of my mind.
"Fifty four." the announcer said, rather dully. He sort of spat the current score and I sighed as I lumbered up to the board to retrieve my darts. Another wardec had me sort of confined to the station, however, since I could now go anywhere, there were better places I could be than here. Somehow, the same bar we always attended seemed like the best place to be right now. Besides, there was a dart tournament!
"ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY!" the announcer yelled, the excitement suddenly bursting forth in the small room. Cheers erupted and glasses clinked together. Maya sheepishly grinned as she sauntered to the board to get her darts. On the way back I saw the redness in her face.
"Why the hell are you so good at Darts?" I ask as she leans on the bar beside me. She took a sip of her ale and huffed.
"I used to own one when I was a teenager and played alot." She said, "Now, as a Capsuleer, My ocular implants and whatnot make me even better at it." She paused and looked me over, somewhat confused, "I'm surprised you aren't better. Don't you have a plus four Ocular Implant? I only have a plus three." I noticed some other people overhear us and their expressions changed to disgust. As if we were cheating or something.
"I would expect you need that natural talent there before the implants would help at all." I replied, finishing my drink. I ordered another one.
"One hundred and twenty!" the announcer called. This time Amalea returned from the board with her darts in hand. I'm sure she only had a plus two set installed in her head.
"Was that good?" She asked innocently.
"I think I'm getting hustled." I sigh. Amalea seemed confused when Maya giggled but her laugh was cut short when she looked up over my head and a heavy hand gripped my shoulder tightly. I glanced over my shoulder to see a tall, stocky, Gallente man standing over me. He wore Camo pants and a dirty white tank top, seemingly stretched to the limit over thick muscles. The man smelled heavily of alcohol and a toothpick rolled across thin lips set deep into a thick mane of a beard, yet not a hair graced the man's scalp.
"Yew three are Capsooleers, aintcha?" He asked, his voice a deep baratone, "That shoul be agnst da rules, ain't it? Yer all cheaters!" I could barely see the three stems of the man's darts protruding from what could only be described as a large Honey Ham attached to the end of the man's trunk of an arm. He didn't look like he could tell the bow from the stern of a Caldari Shuttle either. Even without my plus four Intelligence implant, I could outwit this man without even trying. Still, those holiday hams at the end of his upper appendages wouldn't feel nice to get in the face with a bit of force. I had to be smart here. Play this with a bit of wit and cunning.
"Nope." I reply. Maya and Amalea keep their mouths shut, their attention directed to the gorilla behind me again.
"Waddaya mean 'Nope'?" he yelled. "Ye gotz dem metal thingies on yer necks an everytin'! I bet it wudden matta if I clobberd ya right now!" He wheezed as if his speech was taxing him, but he could have a cold as well. I'm not entirely sure, "Yer cheatin' an it's not fair. Give us regular people a chance ta win the prize money!"
"There's prize money?" I ask innocently, "I had no idea! I thought the prize was a skill book or something. You know, to learn new things and expand your knowledge? Isn't that why you are here? I'm sure you can use it."
"Man, ow dumb can you be? I ain't got no implants, I'm one hundred percen' pure Gallente! A skill book wouldn' do me any good!" he said, puffing out his chest. I could see the fibers in his already stressed shirt barely hanging on. I wanted to take a step back in case the thing exploded and sent a shower of smelly chest hair over me.
"I wouldn't say 'Pure', exactly...." I mutter. Both girls burst out laughing and caught themselves, but it was enough to clue in Kongo that he had been made fun of.
"I hope your clone is up ta date, sir. Cuz imma beat ya till you wake up in a new one!" he threatened, cracking his knuckles. Oddly, It made me want bacon now. Maybe for breakfast tomorrow morning.
"You really are stupid, aren't you?" I say to the man, setting my darts on the bar, "Don't you read the news? We don't have to update our clones anymore. The new ones have unlimited skill points!" Again, the girls gaze drift from me to Kongo, their mouths open in surprise.
Apparently, everything I just said sailed far over his head like a ganker orbiting a barge at a thousand meters. I could see the gears of thought turn in his head, then grind to a halt and fall apart due to stress. He made an odd gurgling sound that sounded like he was trying to say a poorly thought comeback, but then gave up and opted for a full blown battle cry as he lunged at me, which at this point was a fair distance because ever since we started this incident, I had been inching away only slightly with the girls down the bar. They gasped when they saw the man run at me, but jumped when there was a flash of light and he dropped like a ton of pork roast, calmly snoring on the floor at my feet. I had been casually standing with my arms crossed, yet had a concealed parapistol tucked under my arm. Dropping it, it slid down my side and landed gracefully in the holster around my waist, under my jacket.
"What happened?" Amalea asked, somewhat surprised. Only Maya saw the gun.
"Narcolepsy, I think." Maya muttered, turning back to the bar just as I did. We both had a large grin on our faces as the brute just snored loudly behind me. Five minutes later, four security guards showed up and somehow dragged Kongo out of the bar after I assume the bartender made the call. After the commotion had simmered down, I had just returned from another turn at the board. One dart in the bull, one on the edge of the board, the last ended up in the floor. I really suck at this game.
"Hey, thanks for getting rid of that guy." I tell the bartender. He chuckled.
"He's been causing trouble here for a few days now. I'm just happy someone put him in his place." he said, "By the way, thank you for sponsoring this tournament, Sain."
"Wait, you sponsored this?" Maya asked.
"Yep. He put ten thousand ISK up for the winning prize." The barkeeper said, patting me heavily on the shoulder.
"That's it?" Maya asked, seemingly unimpressed.
"Ten thousand is a lot to us regular folk. I'm still surprised you Capsuleers hang out in a dive like this. You could be living in the most expensive place this station has to offer! Drinking the best alcohol there is." The bartender said, "How much you worth anyway, Sain?"
"I don't really want to put a number on it. I own several ships that are worth a lot."
"How much in your wallet then?" He asked, "I have about five grand. As a comparison, that's all."
"Five thousand?" Maya asked.
"Three hundred." I reply.
".....Million." I add.
"Holy...." the barkeep stood in awe. Maya smiled.
"Yeah that's not a lot for him. He's near broke for a Capsuleer." she informed the man. He just shook his head.
"You guys are just on a completely different level." he said, picking up a mug to wipe, "Although, you're about the only ones I know who doesn't really flaunt their money. I like that you're humble about it."
"You getting more business because of it. That's why you like us." I advise. The man's stoic face broke to a sly grin.
"Yeah you got me there." he laughed, "Feel free to hold whatever events you want here that will draw in more people."
I simply raised my glass to the man and finished my drink. Cheers went up in the background as a young girl just threw her winning dart....