Ravana 729's Story, Part III: The Avenging Angel

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The club music thrummed deeply through The Avenging Angel, a theme bar featuring ancient pre-Eve architecture and drinks that had been reconstructed from records the Amarr had kept safe for twenty thousand years. The lighting was a mix of bright gold and crimson - in honor of the guest of honor this night, the pilots of TMOCC. Delirium Syndicate had paid for the party, in an attempt to repair relations, and TMOCC had begrudgingly accepted. This particular venue had the usual amenities geared towards an almost entirely Empyrean clientele; Zankan and Faswiban spiced wines, every kind of recreational drug produced by the Serpentis corporations’ vast library of unusual entheogens, slaves of every variety, including ones earmarked as criminals – a lawful excuse in the Amarr Empire to inflict varying grades of punishment on them.

Amarr families who had fallen on hard times would often trump up charges on disobedient slaves, and, in exchange for a few thousand ISK – a fortune to baseliners – they would license the punishment of the criminals to any facility willing to pay the price. The market was an unsavory byproduct of a law designed to permit busy – or squeamish - holders, from having to mete out divinely mandated punishment themselves. Opportunistic venue owners, desperate for a new market to pitch to their extremely wealthy, and immortal, clientele, quickly learned to adapt the law to a new economy, trading in Empyrean appetites.

For a paltry amount of ISK - nothing to a capsuleer, any commoner could legally torture a slave, and there were very few oversights. The sum paid to the owner was often enough to buy a dozen or more healthy new ones – no one cared if they were returned. No one ever cared.

So it was that capsuleers, like Varrinox, found the 24th Imperial Crusade’s luxurious station above Kamela V to be a very cozy home indeed. His mind wasn’t focused on the dark pleasures of the club, however; it was trained on his co-pilot, Ayasashi Akaya, also known as The Golden Serpent. Seated across the dance floor in a large, nearly empty booth, she was busy casting furtive glances at another Khanid, a cyberknight, with silvery metal arms, seated at the end of the same bar he was leaning against. He was resting from his exertions on some poor soul in the torture room. Varrinox had thousands of his own slaves, but it was more fun breaking someone else’s toys; and this kept his own from becoming hysterical, or trying to escape. He needed them to run his ships in perfect condition, and they couldn’t do that if the rumor mill was inferring that they would be tortured and killed for no reason other than the master’s pleasure. No, smart slave masters confined themselves to prisoners of war, and clubs like this, never their own breeding stock.

He observed as Golden cast her attention back to her female companion, another Khanid, her pale white skin contrasting against Ayasashi’s genetically modified, deep black. Varrinox recalled that the Akaya family had altered their entire genetic line to match the Khanid black, as an elite status symbol, proclaiming their superiority to all, as well as their dedication to Amarr - black was the color of the Reclamation, and had been the color the Khanid had prided themselves in since ancient times, when they rallied to the side of the True Amar, becoming masters of intelligence operations and highly efficient assassination in those primitive times. Her animated expression and gestures clearly broadcasted her interest in the cyberknight. It would be considered an act of high impropriety for a Khanid to date anyone outside of their race, even if they were a True Amarr. Although it did occur from time to time, she was from a high ranking family, and would be confined to other royal Khanid families - Holders.

She was blathering on about some vacuous topic or another, he was sure of it. She turned her head, to look at Varrinox again, as if searching for some kind of approval. Unionists. They always turned into lackeys in the presence of True Amarr. She had even forgiven him over his mischief at Huola, after a spat of sullen pouting. Later, he learned from Ravana, the Brutor whom he had convinced and paid handsomely to spy on her for him, that her father had explained to her it was a perfectly recognized and ancient rite, legal anywhere the Holy Reclamation reigned supreme, in other words, the warzone. It had fallen out of fashion, but it was still a part of the Amarr religion. Golden’s loyalty to Amarr meant she would accept anything about the religion, as long as it was justified by scripture.

Varrinox sipped his completely non-alcoholic drink, an effort to save himself for later, and thought to himself that he would be able to put that loyalty to the test once and for all, shortly.

“The drink you ordered, sir.” came a voice from behind him. He turned, to find a cloudy red drink being placed in front of him, a sickeningly sweet and fruity concoction he was sure the cunt wouldn’t be able to resist. He put on the most charming smile and affected the most elegant tone he could muster. Even if his True Amarr facial structure could get him practically anything he wanted, anywhere in the Amarr Empire, he wanted this to go off without a hitch. “Oh, wonderful. I’d like to place another order. Could you please ask the gentleman at the end of the bar to order whatever he would like, and tell him that young lady over there paid for it?” Varrinox nodded to the cyberknight and then to Ayasashi, identifying them both. “It is going on her tab, so it isn’t a lie.” Varrinox winked, for full effect. The bartender bowed, deeply. “I’m trying to play matchmaker” said Varrinox, becoming nauseated at the word “matchmaker” coming out of his own mouth. The bartender scurried off to enact the second part of the plan, and Varrinox turned back, to the murky, red delivery system sitting in front of him. He placed his bullwhip, bloodstained from a warm up exercise, on the bar, and gave the end cap a twist. A small vial slipped out, and he poured it into the drink before flicking the empty container behind the bar with his finger.

He chuckled to himself, as he watched the confused cyberknight stare incredulously at the waiter animatedly explaining the ruse before the Khanid turned to focus that stare on Ayasashi. To his delight, the cyberknight accepted the offer agreeably, and ordered a whiskey on the rocks. After receiving the drink, he raised his glass to the shy teenager in the booth. Both of the girls started giggling to each other like idiots.

The waiter approached Varrinox once more for instructions, naively eager to enact the next part of the insidious plan. “Now, send this one over to my colleague over there, and tell her the fellow you just delivered “her” message to, has sent her this drink.” said Varrinox smoothly, noting with relief that the stupid waiter seemed happy to obey. He would have him killed after his shift, in order to tie up any loose ends.


“And you know, they’re probably going to suck up all of the new recruits like a starving fedo. It will take them months before they find out their leader is of uncertain paternity, and that their skillsets are mostly a command of street corner commerce,” Edeity remarked, in a graceful tone and accent. He watched Gian Bal’s reactions, carefully, as best he could, in this dark corner, as he sipped his *martini*, an ancient drink replicated from archaeological evidence. Crusaders sometimes referred to it as “Minmatar Tears” a play on the traditional name. Salty, herbiferous, and slightly sweet, the ice cold drink was served in an elegant and conical glass, and both the glass and alcohol were frozen beforehand in extreme subzero temperatures. The drink had become a lowsec Amarr favorite due to its strength, elegance, and its nickname. Bal was staring at another capsuleer at the bar – Varrinox, although, in longing, or curiosity, Edeity couldn’t tell. Varrinox was probably the ugliest capsuleer Edeity had ever seen, so it was probably the latter. Bal’s eyes were concealed by his usual info-screen glasses, which revealed hidden data about the people around him, so he was half inscrutable, as usual.

A spiky shock of fire red hair, and a full suit of Sisters of Eve combat armor gilt with custom, 24th Imperial Crusade livery, encompassed the 5’9” frame of the Amarr warlord, Gian Bal. It wasn’t unusual for individuals with bloodlines from the planet Matar to rise in the ranks of the Imperial Armed Forces of Holy Amarr, but, it was unusual for them to rise to the very top of the Empress’ war machine.

Gian Bal commanded one of the most elite forces in the formidable Amarr military. He disliked sloppiness as much as he disliked competition – especially if that competition was threatening the stability of Empress Catiz’ lowsec holdings. Delirium Syndicate was exactly that. The trash alliance had been ousted from null and had decided to clamber their way up the backside of the null garbage heap from the Amarr Empire, of all places. This wouldn’t do, of course. Something had to be done.

Edeity usually had to do much more pushing to accelerate persons in the right direction, but Gian needed little prodding to do what needed to be done, only a voice, echoing his concerns. They had several spies operating from within Delirium Syndicate, gathering intel, in order to provide the leverage needed to oust them from Amarr space, but their operations were so absurdly disorganized, even wreaking havoc on these idiots was proving difficult. Gian was losing patience. Something had to be done. He slid out of the booth, without warning, and with a purposeful stride, approached the bar.

Edeity quietly returned to his drink, knowing well enough to stay out of Gian’s way at this point. He mentally made a note of the nearest exit and positioned himself for a better view of whatever the warlord was about to start, arranging his dark, hooded robes to appear as camouflaged as possible.


“What the fuck are you wearing?” accused Gian Bal, staring down at the 6’6, pale blonde, True Amarr seated at the bar. Varrinox was wearing nothing but a long strip of cloth, that barely covered anything. The holy symbol of Amarr was affixed just above his groin. It was worse than a thong, somehow. At least thongs were designed for the pool, thought Gian to himself. “It’s a traditional Amarrian loincloth, *slave stock*, and it’s perfectly respectable attire for recreational punishment.” said Varrinox, insultingly, with an impatient, arrogant tone. “What do you want, Bal?” Varrinox turned to stare at the armored Gian for a few seconds, annoyed that he had to miss a moment of the entertaining scheme well under way across the dance floor.

Gian Bal was not a capsuleer you could ignore, and Varrinox knew that. At least not when he was standing next to you at a bar, in combat armor, and, he appeared to be in a bitter mood. “Well, it’s fucking disgusting, get some sun before you walk around in that shit….” replied Gian, tracing the chiseled lines of Varrinox’s oblique muscles with his concealed eyes.

Varrinox ignored this comment, and turned his gaze back to Golden, who was grinning idiotically and giggling with her companion, as she received the altered, cloudy red drink from the waiter, who had just explained the ruse, veiled in lies. Varrinox smiled to himself, despite Gian’s presence, as he watched her take a tremendous sip of the special drink. She waved at the oblivious and puzzled cyberknight across from her. “I’m sick of seeing DS in the war zone. I want them gone. Now.” said Gian, quietly, with no hint of emotion. Varrinox raised an eyebrow. “Mmmm. I told you, we would wait for an opportunity to strike. I don’t know when that opportunity will arrive. I am not their military commander, even if I should be...” grumbled Varrinox. “And, any action against them now, will only pull them closer together.” he reasoned.

Gian shifted his weight, and crossed his arms across his chest, the armored plates scraping together and hydraulic assistance quietly hissing. Gian watched Varrinox carefully for a moment, and noted his overly intense analysis of Golden.

“I saw what you did.” Gian replied, in an accusatory fashion. Varrinox turned to stare at him, with the look of death. “Mind your business, you fucking- whatever you are...” growled the unpleasant fleet commander. Varrinox was limited in his insults. Nobody really knew Gian Bal’s history. He had independently arisen as a capsuleer, and while all pilots are required to register their race and bloodline, he just put down the most plausible explanation. No one questioned “Sebiestor” and it was often a highly respected badge of intelligence. Probably a bastard lovechild of some rich fucker, thought Varrinox to himself, as he scowled at the redhead.

Gian grinned, accepting his usual drink from the bartender, who had recognized the regular. Gian knew his fellow fleet commander would do exactly as he asked, at this point. “Relax, asshole. I don’t want to interrupt whatever disgusting plans you have in mind for that tween. Just let me have access to the weapons room here, and help me take out this crew. Massacre every one of them.” Gian Bal paused, inspecting Varrinox’ expression. The True Amarr’s brow was furrowed even more intensely than usual.

Varrinox cracked a slight smile, and then, laughed a little. “How did you know about that room?” Varrinox asked, turning to him. “I pay attention.” replied Gian. Varrinox nodded. “It’s an emergency panic cell. Only high ranking officials know about it, in case a general decides to visit, and the Sansha take over the station….or something. Not exactly a weapons room.” replied Varrinox.

“If it has guns, it’s a weapons room.” replied Gian. “Come on, you know you want to. Besides, you can have your chocolate ice cream later. Think of it as the main course, a nice little massacre before bedtime…” said Gian. Varrinox didn’t want to lose his opportunity to catch Golden in his trap, and while he could wait for another moment, explaining the contents of the drink to Amarr authorities would be very difficult, if Gian wanted to push this far enough. He wasn’t asking for much in return. Due to the violent nature of capsuleers, weapons were never permitted inside station bars, and the entrance was always heavily guarded.

“I can see you’re not convinced, well, think of it as eating the icecream before the fudge and the cherry,” the armored warlord snorted with laughter, clearly pleased with himself and his crass joke. Even Varrinox couldn’t help but laugh. Varrinox glanced over at the black corner where Edeity sat in the shadows. “I don’t have clearance for this particular cell. You’ll need someone on the list of high ranking dignitaries...for example, a champion of the succession trials.” inferred Varrinox. “But what about the ID check...” started Gian, impatiently. “They will be on the digital ledger, already, I told you - it’s for dignitaries and royals. In the wine cellar, there is an ID sensor that will pick up the encrypted signature of any broadcasting ID device in a 3 meter radius in front of the sensor, and it will open automatically for anyone on that list who has activated their distress beacon – if you happen to find such an individual, of course.” finished Varrinox, coyly.
Bal grinned, and headed back to Edeity’s table. Varrinox slid off his stool and followed him, drawing his bullwhip off of the bar. He would have to miss a few minutes of his delicious plot. A pity, but, unavoidable...


Ayasashi finished the entire drink the cyberknight had sent over to her, and set it down on the table. She was feeling a bit lightheaded. Her lady-in-waiting touched her arm. “Are you alright my lady?” she asked. Ayasashi nodded to her. “You know, mother doesn’t allow me more than 2 drinks in a day, and I think that must have been a double on top of the one I already had,” she smiled mischievously, before sticking her tongue out slightly. “If he wanted to get you so drunk, we had better check his family history and standings,” the blue and silver haired Khanid girl smiled at Ayasashi, and both of them started giggling.

Ayasashi already missed nullsec. In lawless space, one was not only allowed to partake of forbidden activities, she was expected to take an interest in the leisure activities of the business partner. Although she mostly spent time hanging out with the Serpentis R&D department - comprised of scientists and other nerds, she could at least drink Quafe all night and watch forbidden Gallente holoreels with them in their luxurious rec rooms in the Phoenix or Heaven constellations. Her father’s company had been entrusted by the Amarr empire to source new and useful drugs without alerting the Gallente Federation and its nosy reporters to the business deals. Federation and Amarr standings were already at an all time low, but any interaction with the Gallente Federation’s most hated crime family, the Sarpatis, who ran the highly innovative Serpentis Corp, and by extension their Angel Cartel protection, could push the Federation into all out war with the Empire. On the other hand, doing business with a Khanid company over a thousand years old, owned by a family that had been loyal to the throne since the days of Athra, well, that was much more acceptable. The Serpentis corporation didn’t care who got the official credit, as long as they got all the ISK.

In Ayasashi’s eyes, any action which promoted the Empire was righteous, and thus the Serpentis corporation was more blessed than anyone who upheld the Gallente Federation. They only cared about money, but even this was more righteous than those who actively worked against Holy Amarr.

Ayasashi leaned back against the cushy pillows of the booth. She was well known in the warzone, and no one dared approach her without an introduction, given her high ranking status as a Holder’s daughter. She was *not* having fun, despite the mild flirting between her and the cyberknight. She found her thoughts suddenly drawn to Varrinox, which surprised her. Varrinox was *not* a fun person. She noticed he had disappeared from the bar. She brought her nails up to her lips, about to chew on them, but then thought better of it, placing her hands in her lap again, neatly. She had been trying to break the habit for years now, it followed her through every clone.

Frowning, she turned to her lady-in-waiting. “Let’s pray, shall we?” said Ayasashi, and the servant immediately closed her eyes and lowered her head. Ayasashi pulled her favorite prayerbook out of her purse, a red prayerbook emblazoned with “The Order of Jamyl” in bright gold letters. She had it custom made after she joined the Order. She rubbed her fingers against the buttery soft cover. It was bound, luxuriously, in the skin of enemies to the Amarr Empire - ones she had killed herself, in battle. It was a Khanid custom to take trophies of victims of the Reclamation, and to make their bodies and possessions serve the Empire. It was a relict of a bygone age, which often got her into trouble in Amarr proper. She had learned not to casually wear the Sansha’s Nation girl’s jacket her father had given her as war booty out in public in Amarr. The second time she had done so, during a time when Sansha swag was particularly fashionable, had gotten her thrown out of an exclusive gathering by Praetoria Imperialis Excubitoris.

Opening the prayer book, she began reciting a prayer to Empress Jamyl I, the previous Empress of Amarr, considered to be a saint and martyr by all religious Amarr, and who was especially seen as a role model for young women and girls.

“What are you wearing?” groaned Edeity, pushing back his hooded robes to reveal his face, in order to better stare, incredulously, at the barefoot, long-haired, blonde True Amarr, who was wearing nothing but a loincloth around his waist and a bullwhip around his neck. “Has my implant gone mad, or have you?” The Ni-Kunni’s right eye had been replaced with an advanced, cybernetic, sensor monocle. Varrinox ignored the Zul-Matahn’s remark, and asked him, with a hint of amusement, “How would you like to annihilate the wicked tonight, monk?”
“Come with us. We have weapons.” said Gian, cheerily. “How?” asked Edeity, with an air of suspicion. The True Amarr didn’t wait for Gian to explain. “No time for that, I have other things to attend to - let’s just say - Emergency Imperial Navy provisioning,” said Varrinox. “You’re almost as important as you think you are,” said Varrinox, snarkily. Edeity glanced at Gian, and then at Varrinox, realizing from their urgency that they were both quite serious. “Fine, show me these weapons. I need to get into my next clone soon anyways...” said Edeity. The alleged Sani Sabik capsuleer had flown for the Khanid Kingdom in the succession trials, a very high honor awarded only to the most devoted of Amarr Loyalists, but normally reserved only for individuals who towed the party line. Edeity never had the stomach for commoner politics, and apparently neither had King Khanid, who had accepted his application to be his champion. Perhaps it was merely Edeity’s infamy as a great crusader that had earned him the spot, perhaps not. Some of the most talented pilots in the Crusade were overt, or secretly, Sani Sabik, or even Blood Raider loyalists.

Edeity preferred to assume that Khanid was trying to incorporate the legion of Sani Sabik back into the fold of Amarr proper, just as his own Kingdom had achieved, years prior. The Blood Raiders didn’t need Amarr, of course, but it was a bitter pill to swallow, being labeled a heretic and an outcast, simply for partaking in ancient rites unknown to the plebeian commoner population. When did the opinion of commoners ever matter where the almighty God was concerned, anyways?

After instructing Edeity, the group snuck into the bright white kitchen areas. Gian Bal pushed through the crowd of chefs and attendants, making his way to the storage area of the club’s production area. None of the employees blinked. They were used to Gian’s eccentricities and never commented on his choice of companions, especially if he was leading two of them to the back rooms of the club, where it was quieter, and more private. Edeity activated his distress beacon inside his head silently, without any gestures, after disabling his wide-range broadcaster, and lowering the range as much as possible. That would prevent station security from noticing and drawing in on his location, while allowing him to enter the panic room. “Don’t forget to shut off your long range….” started Varrinox, before Edeity interrupted him, “Oh please, it’s not my first massacre, Varrinox.” stated Edeity, blandly. Varrinox grunted.

Opening the door to the wine cellar, the trio slipped into the storage room, a vast chamber filled with tens of thousands of wine bottles. Edeity walked to the back of the room, while Varrinox stationed himself behind the door. Gian and Edeity watched as a layer of dust shook to the floor, the secret, hidden panel casting a weird blue light across the wine cellar, before revealing a perfectly ordered, hermetically sealed chamber, filled wall to ceiling with resources, and hundreds of guns. Gian called the TMOCC crew over his comms and ordered them to rendezvous with them, now that he knew they had access to the weapons. They waited in the dank silence for the other mercenaries to arrive. No fedos were allowed in food storage areas, and it showed. The wine storage chamber itself was filthy – it was one of the most ancient and venerable clubs in the Bleak Lands. Some of the bottles were so old, their labels had faded into oblivion, and were marked with gold ink. “Huh....Sarum Vineyards 23216" read Gian Bal, off of one bottle. “The year of the battle of Vak’Atioth; probably considered bad luck,” remarked Edeity, quietly.

Edeity groaned in frustration as a tiny, blonde, Ni-Kunni waitress slipped inside the half cracked door and gawked in shock at the scene before her. Varrinox grabbed her by the ponytail yanked her against his chest, before wrapping his bullwhip around her neck. He immediately wished he could snap her neck, especially considering the repugnant perfume she was drenched in. Edeity shook his head and silently mouthed “No” in a mild panic, knowing Varrinox all too well. With a heavy sigh, he released his grip, and she gasped for air. In an attempt to be diplomatic, he merely whispered, “Just a Crusade operation my dear, don’t worry. You’ll be let out in good time. Don’t leave this room for at least two hours. As for your perfume, *must* you bathe in it?” He passed the girl to Gian, who applied some nanopaste to her wrists. Sending a programmed electric signal into the nanites, they arranged themselves into primitive handcuffs, which could easily be cut with a kitchen knife once the staff found her. Gian tapped her on the shoulder, before pointing to a crate in the corner, which she immediately sat down upon, quietly, her wide eyes trained on the floor. She wouldn’t scream, and she wouldn't move. No one who feared death ever disobeyed capsuleers.

“Gian!” came a shout outside. Bal nodded to Varrinox, who opened the door widely. Two dozen capsuleers stood outside, the elite force of TMOCC pilots, eager to get some action station-side. “Did anyone see you?” asked Gian. “No, we came through the service entrance, hardly anyone is there. We should cover it before you begin.” said one of the senior pilots. Gian nodded. They began passing rifles and pistols to the crew, and after briefing them on what not to shoot, and how to proceed, they began to move out, through the kitchens, again. The kitchen staff clung to the walls, not daring to make a sound. They were trained not to involve themselves in Empyrean violence.

The first shot came from Gian Bal’s laser rifle, as he headshotted one of the Delirium Directors, Gee Nyx, who was busy gazing up at the apple shaped bottoms of one of the slavegirls. Gian smiled to himself as the baseliners in the crowd screamed, and scattered, but too late. The rest of DS fell quickly, as the TMOCC crew made short work of the gathered crowd, indiscriminately mowing down the entire dance floor in a stream of lasers and bullets. They were all Syndicate crewmembers, for some reason the idiots had invited their entire baseliner employee base to the damned party. TMOCC never attended parties with their crew, unless it was on board a TMOCC battleship, tethered to a citadel for exactly *this* bloody reason. Varrinox noted that the entire staff had dissipated, clearly alerted to trouble early on. They had at least 5, maybe 10 minutes before station security was alerted to the commotion and began gathering their forces, he mused to himself. “We should take the VIP lounge, Vamps will be there. I want to kill her myself, though” growled Varrinox.

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