Chapters 4 and 5
Zero - zero space.... what was this place and why was it so dangerous? Melantari 401A was thinking as she flew along. Not knowing exactly where she was headed, she had engaged a few old friends, who were glad to help so they could get away, to help find where Viper had gone. In doing so, she had also learned that an old flame in Shinjo was also out here in the very corp that viper was in.
Before setting off from Frugilur, Mel 401A had applied to join Dragons Rage and had been accepted with ease. Having a name like her brothers helped, but he would never know that she had used it as an excuse to get into the corp. With access granted and here place approved, she had set out on the long run into the bad lands of space. She could not get there the same way as the others due to the fact that she had no clones available to her.
Heading into the main system, Mel 401A had cought a glimpse of her targets in an ajoining system just before she jumped through the gate. They were here and they were now in trouble. Frozen Roses... Yep they would find out where they could stick those. Her story had even been plastered on the local concord billboard in Bei. What a nightmare these men cause...
The trip had been quiet whilst Mel 401A docked at the local station, only to find mail addressed to her. It was from someone called Hydrolic Gumball. A name that escaped her memory. In the mail it said that he was wanting to chat with Melantari. That was it, Concord had stuffed up the mail again and had sent her brothers mail to her instead. It looked darn important and that ment getting in touch with big Mel. Oh brother, this was going to be embarrising.
On the other side of the coin, Viper, Mel and Shinjo along with a few new DR mates, were ratting and mining the fields a few jumps away, glad to be rid of 401A. Kroolish was looking for vengance after loosing his HAC in a one on one with a war target, and Pika was busy sorting through the corp mail. Vipes was griping again about loosing another ship and Shinjo was rubbing it in again. The ratting was going well after finding a few Drone Queens to destroy and then came the call.
They all new the voice.... those who were part of BALM new the voice....
"Mail for Melantari, Concord mail service at your service..."
Vipes Shuddered, Shinjo Laughed and Mel tried to hide deeper in his pod.
Kroolish and Pika wondered what was affecting these three so much, and then they saw it.... A Road Train of.... umm yea. 5 trailers long being pulled by a half Amarian, Half Gallente looking cruiser.
It was Mel 401A's Road Train of Pleasure.
"I got mail for ya bro", called 401.
"How did you find us?" replied Shinjo.
"Tavardi." she replied, "but thats not important, I have mail for Mel."
"What is it?"
"A brute called Hydro something wants to get in contact with ya."
"Brute.... Hydrolic Gumball? have you ever met him?" questioned Mel.
"Nope, but he sounds nasty according to his mail."
Melantari laughed, knowing full well that the person she was talking about could not harm a hair on her head. He sounded gruff, looked mean but when it came to killing, he could not hurt a pod flea. In fact, he tended to breed them for 'other' purposes.
"Oh and Vipee, i bought you some roses just to show you there are no hard feelings." They were roses with nothing left but thorns. Shinjo burst out in another laughing fit before seeing a present for him.
"Why has that got my name on it?" he replied.
"Oh, after hearing you have a go at Vipee about his bed clothes, I decided to make a set for you."
Shinjo cringed. The bed clothes she was talking about was a spiderman costume at least two sizes too small for vipes.
"Open it and see." called Viper.
"Go on" niggled Pika.
"Ahh maybe later." cowered Shinjo.
"As the CEO of this corporation and all round nasty, I order you to show us what it is", bellowed Krool.
Shinjo opened the package and turned white as a ghost. This was private but now it was public. Inside the wrapping was a Batman Cosume, complete in leather with only the buttocks missing.
Everyone burst out laughing.
With the message needing reply, everyone got together and headed for Moes Tavern. A lowlife place of used ships and seedy characters that DR called home.
Upon entering the docking bay, all anyone could hear was the constant yelling of parts for sale by none other than another of the DR crew.
"Get your Cruisers here, Hardly used, clean pods and free 3 light year service with all sales this week", was the call from Ranna.
Ranna was into making money any way he could, and with his loss ratio so large when he was supposed to be ratting, the only way he was successfull in this area of space, was to steal wrecks and repaint them ready for a quick sale. It was lucky for him that other members of DR could kill with precision and therefore reduce the repairs needed on these rather seedy vessels.
Upon seeing Krool, pika and toher he knew, Ranna shut up shop and hurried to catch up. They were heading to The Amazing Red Bar and Grill.
After entering the pub, they found there normal room out the back and turned on the Concord mail service console, stolen by Ranna of course, and proceded to get in contact with Hydrolic.
"And what do we 'ave 'ere then 'ey?" called a rather hairy old bloke from behind the bar. "Bit early for you lot to be in 'ere aint it?"
"Shove it Red," said Shinjo, still in a bad mood after having his private affairs aired.
"Oh we are in a good old mood today then arnt we."
"Normal rounds for all," stated Krool in a rather happy mood.
"I know all your drinks, but what wil the young lady have? Milk?"
"I'll have what the guy over there in the red and green suit is having, that looks interesting." squalked 401.
"Ahh you gotta be a bit older or have some sort of I.D. to be getting those."
"I'm old enough, Just ask Vipee and Shinjo-man!"
"Shinjo-man?" the group called out at once.
Shinjo shrunk lower in his seat knowing full well that he was never going to live this one down.
Fragito, after hearing his suit called out, walked over to the others and sat down.
"Whos this little piece of work then, hey?"
"I'm Mels Sister."replied 401 handing Fragito a piece of paper with her docking number on it under the table. Fragito having a fairly good memory, tried to memorise it and then threw the paper away.
After a few rounds of drinks and a lot of laughter, the DR group got up and headed over to the offices. Hydrolic wanted to join so things had to be set in motion. Lots of new people were in the area now and rights and passes had to be organised for the new DR members. Cleaning up after the DR crew had left was another member, who in a little debt with the establishment, was cleaning up in The Amazing Red Bar and Grill. He came accross a piece of paper stating Dock 131, Trailer 4, 11pm. Cheesehelmet for once in his life felt lucky.
To Be Continued.
Waiting for his arrival was the corps new welcome party. A Road train with extras as Null had put it. It was 401.
She had given herself the role of welcoming all the new players to the corp and Krool had thought that if they could put up with her, then they deserved to stay. Any spy would run at the sight of 401 rushing them.
Plus she had the uncanny ability of being able to 'sniff out' the opposition.
Only one problem had come of this, when the alliance boss had come in and 401 had invited him in for drinks. Well lets just say, after 5 mins of drinks, he was a runnin fast and Kroolish had a lot of explaining to do. But at the same time, it kept a lot of the allaince HQ people out of reds bar, which in turn improved Reds bottom line (and his belt line).
Cheesehelmet had made his way to dock 131 at the required hour only to find Fragito entering trailer 3. Fragito's memory was not what it used to be. Cheesehelmet sneaked into trailer 4.
In trailer 3, Fragito was dumbfounded to find the inside set up like a bat cave. There were bats hanging from the roof, moss on the walls and a black bed in the center that rotated just like in those old 21st century batman movies when the car spun around. He was scared. This girl had wierd tastes. In the corner was a Caldari uniform that was torn with what looked like a cat of nine tails. Fragito ran, ran fast as far as he could away from the trailers.
Trailer 4 and the door was locked. This was not going to stop Cheesehelmet, oh no , on the contrary. He was good at breaking and entering... just ask those that had lost alloys from there corp hangers in the other systems. That was also why he was working at the bar. He was paying for his indifferences.
The door opened and he stepped in.
Standing in the corner in Green Leathers was the girl from the bar. The room looked like a tropical forrest and she had frog mask on.
"Want to help me find my taddies?" she asked...
Cheesehelmet ran, it was the last time he would break in unanounced.
Thirty minutes later, Hydrolic landed in station. At the pad was 401 in a suit and a cardboard sign with his name.
"Im Hydrolic", he stated.
"Well you are a big boy, but whats with the bunny suit?"
"Oh, Forgot to change from the party I was at last night"
"Cool costume, can I use it after your finished... I have a bar that could use some spicing up." 401 replied. They had just finished installing her new pole in the back room earlier that day.
Harliey was in the bar serving drinks to the non-comms that alway hung around during the day when Red asked her to go out back and get a new bar cloth. When she was out there, she saw the new pole and wondered why such a thing was in this room. Sitting in the far corner was a 7 foot cage with a name tag place that was empty. She felt all weird inside. Ever since 401 had arrived, this place was becoming stranger by the day.
There was a meeting of staff in the area to be help tomorrow and things had to be set up. Red was hobbling between the tables setting up when Harliey came back in and told him about the pole. His eyes just shone a little brighter at the news. Meetings would be getting more interesting in the future.
Capt Archer was flying in from a recon mission in empire when he heard that there was going to be a meeting called. He also knew that his aquantences from BALM were going to be there and it was a chance to catch up.
5 hours later
The meeting was due to start right on 12. But they were still missing those members who had the most to say. Kroolish, Pika, Null and Slumber. As usual, Kroolish was running late, but the others were normally early.
Things were quiet in the back room or Reds Bar and Grill, mainly becouse 401 was not allowed in. But there was plenty of wolf whistling coming from the main bar where she was entertaining the crowds.
Krool arrived with the others in toe and made straight for the head of the room.
"We have problems folks, and it dont look good", he started. " the four of us have been in talks with the allaince and they have no idea what they are doing. We have new rules for anyone wishing to join up, new training schedules and new ways to fight. And we dont agree on any of this. If this continues, we may be looking for a new home!"
The room went very quiet. Everyone looked at Krool with intent on what was going to happen.
"We as a corp will continue to function as we always have. We will fight the way we do and we will hire the way we like. If they want us to be there when they ask... well, Im going to say, choose yourselves what you want to do. i believe we should fly together and work the alliance second."
The people in the room aplauded with glee this news. Finally they had a direction in battle. Krool sat down and Slumber got up to say his bit.
"We will fight together and use our own FC's, we will work with the alliance but dont get caught in there fights if you think its not worth loosing your ship over. And dont mine in there areas. That seems to be pissing them off a bit."
The room burst out in laughter. Everyone knew that there were a few close calls lately over ratting and mining. and it went as high up as the directorship in this area. Pika was being rather quiet.
Krool stood up again and started on the topic of new homes.
"We are not moving to a new station of our own at the moment, even though a lot of you have donated a lot of your time lately to improving our financial position. It is greatly apreciated and is being stored for further use when the time comes. At the moment, we will stay with the alliance and watch from within its walls for the cracks to appear. We will be hunting our war targets a bit more viligantly and we will be training new FC's in specialist roles. One of those will be a 'black ops' fleet for hunting purposes. We may also be looking at setting up some bait ships to help start the fights."
Another round of applause broke out with the latest ideas.
The rest of the meetin was rather quiet and informal with the usual stuff about who was doing what where and when. It broke up 2 hours later when Krool got a call from the alliance leadership. They wanted DR's help again. But would they give it knowing that they would get little in return for such an outlay.
401 and Harliey were exchanging thoughts and ideas in the main bar area when Shade walked in. he was late for the meeting and as such was also locked out of the back room. Shade upon seing 401 again, went and sat on the other side of Harliey. Drinks were being served by Cheesehelmet, who in all honesty, could not look 401 in the eye. For once in his life, he was scared of someone. And that someone was a girl of all things.
Red lights went off, Buzzers sounded and a general alarm was being broadcast.
DR to your ships! We are under attack!
All the screens in the bar automatically flicked to the external cameras, but there was nothing there. Red cam running out from the back and started switching channels. It was a home defence alert. War targets were being spotted in the next system as well as Dizney.
Shade was just getting to his feet and the girls were just getting out from under the bar stools when the back door opened and DR members came running past. Pika looked woried, a little more than normal, and Fragito was white as a ghost.
"What have they hit?' yelled Fragito.
"Dizney" came the reply from Red. "Its not damaged as yet, but its not looking good."
"All pilots to small agile craft, called Pika, in krools absence." Ranna, release the small craft from the lock up now!"
"There painted and ready to go, just a few of em are missing little bits and pieces, but they should be all right. Bay 12, cypher code Alpha - one - niner -four."
Dr were running down the corridors. 401 and Harliey still under the stools after the mad rush by and started chasing after them.
"You two will stay here and watch the bar! This is no fight for you youngsters this time!" stated Red on his way out, hobling on his bad leg.
The pub was being left to the youngsters and the back door was still open.