The lemon song

I should have quit you, long time ago.
I wouldn’t be here, my children, down on this killing floor.
I should have listened, baby, to my second mind.
Every time I go away and leave you, darling, you send me the blues way down the line.

Being back in Ishomilken has had it’s ups and it’s downs. The war we have jokingly created with A Band Apart was nothing to be thrilled about; the war is still running, but a lot of enemy pilots have had their stomachs hurting and retreated into the safe harbors, whether in null-sec space or in unknown space. Only Stay Frosty is around, and we’ve been having a couple of tosses each and every way – for every frigate we lose, they lose something as well; as fights should be. Being on the winning side for too long can prove to be very boring, and sometimes when you do lose it will hurt you a lot more than it would hurt someone who’s not as used to winning.

Such a person is myself. Having flown Laura for so long must have wind me up and make me rethink my career choice (I laugh at myself for calling piracy a career) as I have found myself spinning ships and just undocking a losing everything I possibly have in the hangars. The Bastards lounge has been empty for a bit, people being away doing their own thing. Hell, I even had to pour the Scotch myself because Serj Reaper was away for a holiday in the tropical regions in the other side of the galaxy. Things have been stale, so I found a way to entertain me – I started watching records of capsuleer combats and a few videos caught my attention, especially two from the same person – a Stabber- and a Slicer-class hulls.

You see, so far in my piracy you wouldn’t see many ships which preferred kiting as a combat style. Sure, Laura could be fit with a ‘long point’ and those 150 mm rails would hurt as long as I could keep my guns on target but that just wasn’t it… it still felt like scram kiting combat style. After seeing the videos, I moved myself to my favorite thinking spot – the Bastards’ bar.

“Same as usual, Spax?” is the question I always get when I enter. I swear to God I need to start drinking something else. I’m more unpredictable in my hull and fitting choices than in the beverages I indulge.
“No ice this time, Jinx, please.” an odd name our bartender had. It sounded very, very familiar but I just couldn’t place it. As he was pouring my favorite brand, Known Associate, now one of the directors of the Bastards, marched in and made his way to the seat next to time. With a wink and a hidden hand gesture I showed Jinx to bring Known an appletini – a martini made with apple juice.

“Drinking? Again, Spax? I have to admit I am disappointed” he tossed a bait which I gladly took and shrugged off with a very short comeback.
“Not as disappointed as I was when you missed Rixx‘s woman’s, Oma, pod the other night.” I could have said a simple “your mom” but I needed something that cuts deeper. Jinx had delivered his appletini which Known gulped down in a single stroke.
“You ought to be more careful with such hard drinks, you might not end well.” I said while smirking so he can know that the joke is on me this time.

“Are you going to tell me what’s wrong, or should I try guessing. You miss Evati, don’t you?” straight down and up to the point, that’s the kind of man he was. Believe it or not, he hit 100 points.
“Look, Spax, I’m your friend so let me tell you this” he paused to signal Jinx to bring me another double-shot as I was finishing mine ever so increasingly in speed. “At the end of the day, we’re pirates. That means we do what the hell we want to, and if you feel like you’re empty on the inside” he paused again to make sure I understood him, which I did only so well. “You should go and do something you haven’t done already. In case you haven’t noticed, the videos you saw were re-runs, which means someone broadcast them for you. Who do you think was it?” with that line, everything made sense. I strongly feel like there’s nothing this man doesn’t know about me.

“I can’t fly neither the Slicer, nor the Stabber. What kind of a sick joke is it you’re having?” I was trying to keep it cool and lay off the fact he knows me so damn well, but I couldn’t. His reply hit the wire.
“Don’t give me that bullshit, I have been looking over your losses and your kills ever since I joined the Bastards.” before finishing what he had to say, he grabbed the glass, more like snatched it from me, and shot down the double Scotch into his throat. You could see his eyes were burning, but that didn’t stop him from leaving a final word before he stood up.

“I bet a certain Pamela would be more than happy to see you, Spax, go have fun!” the door he left through were shut, but his words remained. After paying Jinx off, I went to the Medical bay and ordered a ticket to Evati.

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Dazed and confused

Been Dazed and Confused for so long it’s not true.
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you.
Lots of people talkin’, few of them know
Soul of a woman was created below.

The sound of unnerving Dazed and confused was punching through the speakers. A cigar still fresh and scorn-less was laid on the ash tray, as a reminder of fun that was had the night before. I knew I shouldn’t have had all those female exotic dancers in here; they don’t put out unless you show them you got the money. Laura opened up a connection with the apartment’s comms:
“Incoming transmition, Mr SpaxiKnown Associate is calling you via the secure line through Laura‘s communication array. Do I take the call?” she spoke, with a voice as gentle as a fresh bed sheet after a shower. “Connection allowed, pass him on, please. Good morning, Laura.” It was time to get up and see what was happening, but hell, I wasn’t wearing anything.

“Morning, Spax, I see you’re as tiny as ever.” he laughed while I turned my bum towards him so he can see what I think of his joke. Some underwear found it’s way up my legs, and I sat down in front of the camera. The atmosphere behind him was familiar, he was calling me from the Bastards’ lounge in Ishomilken IX-4 Chief executive station. This had to be serious.
“Cut to the chase, Known, you’re interrupting some well earned rest. Check the kill reports, I took out more than ten ships last night.” The only way to shrug him off quickly was to bore him with some boasting.
“Yeah, I’ve seen the loss mails as well. Those Taranises sure blow up fast, don’t they?” He was hitting my nerves now, which was made obvious to him when an ashtray took flight towards the camera, smashing it into pieces.
“Get your ass to Ishomilken, there’s soup brewing. Boss wants you here as well” He made sure I realize the gravity of the situation by speaking with a sharp and rough tone. No emotions was something you would expect from a known associate, after all.

After jumping into my latest Gurista outfit, which was to be the official Screaming Hayabusa uniform until I broke in to one of their member’s quarters while he was enjoying a good night’s sleep after shagging a bar bouncer and relieved him off it, I made my way to the medical bay. I have to say it looks good on me, I even got my ear pierced to match the outcast style it was sewn in. A dash of orange with some black, all in leather and with patches which were supposed to match rank is what made the uniform beautiful. I have to give credit to Miura Bull next time we cross blasters. A big red cross above the room and sight of clone vats was to mean that I finally reached the medical bay. After a short flirt with the receptionist, I proceeded inside and entered one vat, which seemed rugged at first, with layers of dust pilled on due to lack of use. A needle pierced the back of my head, and my mind went to sleep only to be awoken shortly after by a familiar blonde face of Mrs Spaxina down in Ishomilken. She popped open the vat, and slapped me as hard as she could, the pain splitting away half of my head due to clone jump shock.
“You deserved that. Remember that I have eyes everywhere!” were her parting words, as she left and gave me a smile on her way out.

Known Associate was standing leaned at the door with his hands crossed.
“Nobody is pleased you were gone, Spax, we missed you. Just because you think that nobody appreciates you doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Next time you go off without a word, I’ll hunt you down myself.” The threat he made wasn’t just empty words – even though he’s not as check as I am in space blaster brawls, he knows his hunt. I would probably never notice burning plasma from his blaster hurling towards my head until it would be too late, and I’d wake up back here.
“Home, sweet home. I’m sorry, my friend, I owe you a shot of scotch. Thank you for calling me.” I was trying to be nice, while his coldness interrupted me once again. It was obvious he was displeased, but I knew he missed me.
“The boss wants to talk to all of us, we’ve been waiting for you. Lazy has gone about it and caused havoc. Not that we don’t like havoc, now do we?” His smirk made me get a glimpse of what was about to happen. Without much delay, I got up and into my old outfit, making my way with Known towards the Bastards’ lounge.

The Bastards had no personal maids, so the lounge was maintained by some very old robots which aren’t even AI. Having an AI run the cleaning could present a lot of security risks so we avoided it at all cost. The two of us entered the lounge only to see everyone with their hands crossed or fists firmly clenched. Something was up, but boss was the only one standing, so I can only assume that they were waiting for us. I nodded in apologetic way, and proceeded with Known to the only two remaining free spots. Serj tossed me a hard drink across the glass table, while Lazy flipped me the bird only to be slapped by Ithica. I really did miss these guys, they’re top lads. Every single one of them. A single sip of a very old brew was interrupted by the boss.

“I’m glad to have called you here on this day. Spax, welcome back. If you were to take off like that again, I will personally come and hunt you down” That line sounded very familiar. Not that he could hunt me down even if he wanted, but the threat was very well perceived. I nodded to apologize, but he continued the talk.
“I am not sure you lot are aware of it, but our own Lord LazyGhost has fallen prey to the station guns. Yes, again, nothing new, I know, right.” A blaze of laughter filled the lounge, while Lazy was throwing shoulder punches and flipping people off.
“However… this time, they’ve gone too far. They claim to be well established pirates, and spread Yarrs over every public communication channel they can, but they are also very well perceived within Concord. Their security status is a disgrace to piracy, and puts them at an unfair advantage standing toward us. Dwaigon, please go ahead” The boss stepped down, sat and a prostitute soon followed to his lap. He picked a cigar up, while the woman was caressing his strong cheeks. Dwaigon stood up, and took over.
“Gentlemen, war has been declared. An official notice was sent to the entire of A Band Apart alliance and their executive corporation. The war itself is alliance wide and will be live in 24 h. Clean your blasters, get your Vexors and Brutixes ready. Nobody is allowed to go off until every single ABA capsuleer has been sent back to their home station in a pod. Is that clear?” he shouted while everyone raised their glasses, tossed the beverages to the throats and smashed the glass on the hard floor.

Everyone got up and started chest bumping, the laughter and manly “Yarrs” filled the halls and I bet the entire station was wondering what the fuck was happening. That’s when Nashh approached me and invited me over to his office. The walk wasn’t long, but I could see that he was going somewhere with this. The room was oddly empty and quiet, as he made his way to the desk and sat himself on the leather chair and ignited a cigar. I was gestured to take a seat opposite to him, which I did.

“The war isn’t the only reason you’ve been pulled here. To be honest, we don’t need you to lead the war -” I interrupted him tossing over a “But you want to win the war, right?” and helping myself to a cigar as well. Nashh leaned forward and flipped open his lighter, putting my cigar ablaze.
“Shut the fuck up, Spax, and listen for a moment.” He needed to set me straight in order for the conversation to continue in the serious tone it was started in.
“Now when I have your full attention, I have an offer for you.” An offer? For me? This day kept getting stranger and stranger. I leaned in and raised an eyebrow, my curiosity was touched.
“As you are aware, the kevlar hasn’t been coming in these past months.” By kevlar, he meant we weren’t getting a lot of new people coming in.
“I know you were giving your all to help the new guys coming in. Being a pirate isn’t easy and it’s not for everyone, and I understand that more than anyone else. The training you have done with Alexis Vexx and Ses the dude has got me thinking. The offer for you, Spax, is as follows – you are to take over the Meatshields and run them.” Me taking over the Meatshields was one of my goals in this alliance. I have never felt more joy than when training people. Naturally, I had to accept. I smiled and stood up, raising Nashh as well, and went to shake his hand.
“I accept, boss. However, let’s not talk details now. I do believe there’s a party in the lounge, and I don’t want to be missing it.” He understood completely what I was going for, and we both left to the havoc that was taking place in the Bastards’ lounge.