Archive for In Character

A Fortunate Death; Chapter One

Posted in In Character with tags , , , , on March 31, 2009 by katzukov

“Ohhhh… why must the Amarr be so cruel… the Minmatar be so rude… the Caldari be so focused on money… why can’t they be lovers…”

Katzukov rolled his eyes. This song had been on the SystemNet at least five times in the time he had been out. Some new pop song from song from some young band from some god-forsaken planet in some depressingly boring system. He didn’t care how depressingly boring the place was… it was no excuse for this drivel.

Katzukov turned the Net off and went back to his data pad. “Learning and You: An Idiots Guide to Remembering Minituae Vol. IV” 

“Hmmph. Thank god this is almost over with…” Katzukov muttered to no one in particular and propped his feet up on a console.  Actually no one at all, he was alone on the command deck. Katzukovs mind went to Volume V of the book… sitting in a crate in his cabin back on station. That one was going to take him WEEKS to get through… and he shuddered. “Ain’t worth it… nope.”

A flashing yellow indicator on the panel in front of him indicated that the asteroid in front of them was about to be depleted. He hit a button with the heel of his boot… and the strip miners switched to a fresh asteroid in the belt. Katzukov yawned and looked at the cargo indicator… not even half full. At least ejecting a container took a few minutes out of the mind-numbing tedium.

“Frigate to Titan I… hah! I got you now!” The voice blared in his ear. He forgot to turn the volume down a bit on his fleet comms. Katzukov looked up from the data pad to another console on the command deck. A screen that should have been displaying ore purity levels was displaying the 3D grid of Titans & Cruisers… a horribly simplistic strategy game.

“Well, that only took you twenty minutes. Give me a moment to think about my next move.” Katzukov yawned again and went back to his book. He was playing against his opposite on the hauler a few kilometers to starboard. He was bored as well, waiting for a can to jet so that he could take it back to the station to be reprocessed. The man was not good company… because he was an idiot. Was podded a few to many times without having an updated clone. The booze didn’t help either.

More time passed. And at last the final page of the wretched book was finished. With a toss, he sighed and grabbed the next pad out of his satchel. “Basic Industry: Making Shinies Vol. 1″. They really had to stop letting people rename these books.

He had hardly started to read the mercifully short primer when a red indicator went off on the primary HUD. He was being targeted. “Goddammit Yuri, that isn’t funny…” Katzukov swung the camera drones around to view the hauler. The pan only revealed debris… and two red highlighted reticles indicating pirates.

Fear passed in and out of Katzukovs mind. His ship was tough, and these were only a pair of light frigates. But still, they were a threat… especially if they took the hauler out so quickly. His mind went to Yuri… probably waking up now in a hand-me-down clone even dumber then before. A smile crossed his face at the thought.

By this time, alarms were going off over the ship and the ships captain came running onto the command deck half-dressed. Luckily he was wearing the bottom half of his clothes… the captain had a habit of bringing lady friends for long operations such as these. “What the hell did you do?” He blurted.

“What did I do? A pair of Angels just warped in and blew Yuri up! I am aligning us for warp now… but it will take a bit. We are in a barge not a cruiser.”

The captain glanced at the threat panel. “Bah, just a pair of frigates. Send the drones to fight them off.”

Katzukov shrugged and opened the Drone Interface. Acolyte II’s… 5 of them… LAUNCH. While Katzukov was sure the drones would make short work of the frigates… he kept the ship aligned.

The pirates were clearly not prepared for a fight. They were expecting two unarmed ships… and found one with teeth. Small teeth… but sharp. The Acolytes AI quickly turned the frigates into chunks of scrap metal with their crews frozen corpses drifting into the belt.

“Hmmph. Let me guess… Yuri didn’t have an updated clone again” Captain Suvorov was rubbing his temples. He was probably going to shoot Yuri when we got back… this was going to cost the corporation millions.

Katzukov checked a status display to make sure… and broke out with a smile. “Oh jeeze… not only did he not have a clone… but his backup won’t even be able to interface with another hauler for at least a week.”

“Goddamn him!” Suvorov swore and threw the nearest object against the bulkhead. It was Katzukovs Industrial Datapad.

“Hey… careful! Those are expensive!” Katzukov ran over and checked on his datapad. 10,000 ISK… luckily it was not broken.

“Alright… fine. Align us to the station and take us back. I guess this operation is ending early.”

Katzukov shrugged and aligned to the station. He barely noticed the flashing mail icon on his personal pad. Probably another offer from some Amarrian prince who needs to move a few billion ISK and needs his help…

A few minutes later they were back at the station. As they were waiting for the docking tugs, Katzukov grabbed his personal pad and opened the message…

To: Katzukov Yimenshinko

From: Shinseki and Co. Legal Conglomerate

    Mr. Yimenshinko, we regret to inform you that your great-uncle Mithendadon has perished beyond the range of a cloning facility in null space. Mithendadon had no will, and you have been determined to be his closest living relative. The contents of his bank accounts and assets have been tranfered to your personal inventory. Again, we are sorry for your loss.

G. Shinseki

“Ooo… free money.” Katzukov thumbed over to his wallet expecting to find a few thousand ISK more. Perhaps enough for new quarters…

Wallet: 750,000,000 ISK

Katzukov started coughing. That number was almost too large to fathom.

“I feel faint…” Darkness enveloped him as he fell to the deck.