I returned to Null sec, the encounter with my friend weighing heavily on my mind. I chose to lounge in the outpost bar and update my log on the latest events, if anything but to sort out my thoughts and get them down. Donta milled around behind the counter and poured drinks, yet his attention was often diverted in my direction, or towards the holoscreen above the end of the bar, showing random corp adverts and the odd bounty here and there. I had finished logging my post in my records and spent a few minutes perusing the local market, looking for an opportunity when I sensed a foreboding presence looming over me from behind. I slowly turned to look over my shoulder, seeing Koswin standing there, holding a terminal with a seemingly demanding pose.
"More." she simply said, pointing to the Terminal.
"Write more! You can't leave your logs off like that! What's with the cliffhanger?"
"Cliff....? What the hell do you mean?" I ask confused.
"This story about your friend from the wormhole. It's really good." she said sitting down, "How does it end?"
"Story?" I asked perplexed, "This isn't fiction! It happened!"
"So you didn't just make it up?" she asked, somewhat disappointed.
"No. And why are you reading my logs so quickly after I write them?" I asked, raising a brow.
"The whole corp reads them, but never mind that. So what do you think is going on?" She asked, "You think he's a spy? Possessed by a spirit? Having a mental breakdown?"
"Seriously?" I ask, a little taken back, "I don't know. I want to find out, but not if I'm going to get shot!"
"Aren't those pistols outlawed on stations?" Koswin asked.
"Yeah, but this was a Capsuleer owned Citadel." I said, "Plus, I'm not going to be the one to rat him out. Maybe I should just respect his wishes and leave him alone, but it didn't seem like it was him at all. He was completely different."
"You should go back and dig around a bit." She said, "And write it all in your logs. Write about everything!"
"Dammit, Woman! I am not your literary slave!" I retorted with a sneer. She laughed at me as she stood up to walk away.
"You're not?" She jokingly replied.
"Look, just put your whip away and I'll write when I have something, alright?" I heard her laugh as she left the bar and my attention drifted over to Donta who was still cleaning glasses with a wide smile on his face. I sighed heavily and stood to head to the medical bay.
I woke this time in Jita, in an old Jump clone I had there just for checking the market and set to work buying and fitting a Buzzard for some recon and spying. I undocked and headed back to the Citadel that Chadrick was docked in, then after confirming he was still on the guest list, remained just above the undock lane while cloaked and kept an eye out for him if he ever wanted to leave.
I had fallen asleep several times in my pod before something happened. It was much later in the day when my watchlist flashed and I saw Chadrick's pod undock, then quickly warp away. Following the small craft, I kept my distance and tracked it many jumps away, towards a dead end system, then found it odd when he warped off in a random direction, not even close to any celestial or gates.
Curious, I still saw his pod on my D-Scan, yet had no idea where he went. I chose to uncloak for a brief moment, launch scanning probes and cloak again, then set to work trying to find what it was he warped to.
A few moments later, I found a wormhole.
I warped to the hole and saw the tiny pod sitting at the event horizon, there was a moment of hesitation, then it splashed through. The wormhole entrance shimmered for a moment and sensors indicated it was near the end of life. With a rush of adrenaline, I recalled my probes, rushed the wormhole and splashed through.
The ride was rough, I was tossed all around and the ride made me feel sick to my stomach. A moment later I was thrown out the other side and the wormhole vanished behind me, making my heart jump to my throat. I instantly re-cloaked and took a moment to orient myself, scanning the system I was in and trying to get my bearings. I took a while to study the results and it finally hit me. There was something missing in my scans.
This system had no moons.
A Shattered Wormhole? Why the hell would Chadrick come in here knowing he can't get back with just a pod? Was he planning to see something and self destruct to get back to Highsec? Confused, I saw the tiny pod finally drop the temporary cloak the wormhole had left on his vessel and he sped off towards a planet in the system. I was sure he had saw me when I switched to my own cloak and was trying to run away, so I instinctively gave chase.
Exiting warp, I ended up near the planet, its debris field nearly de-cloaking me, yet I saw no pod here. He should have clearly beaten to the planet, but he wasn't here. Initiating another D-Scan, I see his pod had come out of warp much sooner in between the planet and where the wormhole used to be, so I chanced dropping the cloak once more to deploy probes again.
There was indeed a site in that area, no doubt full of sleepers. I warped to it at twenty kilometers under cloak to see what was going on, and when I landed, my mind was nearly overwhelmed with sensor data from both the overview and the camera drone.
Dozens of sleeper drones buzzed around the structure. So many that I lost contact with Chadrick's pod as I frantically tried to filter out the overview list. In my panic, I neglected to notice that one had come a little too close and shorted out my cloak, and I appeared before an angry swarm which quickly took notice and instantly locked onto my small frigate. I had only enough time to finally notice Chadrick's pod sitting dangerously close to the center of the structure, but yet still intact before alarms started going off and I saw a bright light, then nothing...