I walked into the agent’s office and tossed the file down on his desk. “The Blockade” label on the folder still mocked me.
He and I both knew the mission was completed well before I walked in. Hell, he knew it before I even docked in the station would be my guess. I can only surmise the flood of comms from the miners and merchants at the gate station that were expressing their glee at finally being able to undock without becoming fodder for the army of Sanshas Nation. Now the civvies only had to wade through the 60+ wrecks I left behind in the wake of my one-man’s war.
We both also knew the measly reward, even added to Concord’s generous bounty payouts, wouldn’t begin to financially cover my losses. “Your intel was shit, this time around,” I started.
“Now Zakk, these sorts of things happen all the time when dealing with insurgents like…”
The agent’s sentence trailed off sharply when I kicked his thin, metal desk into his sagging gut, pushing him back against the wall and pinning him there under the weight of my boot.
“Your intel was shit.”
“I dealt with no less than four reinforcement waves of the bastards, all of which seemed to have just as many destroyers and cruisers as the last. For an unorganized, ‘insurgent’ remnant of a corporation, these Sansha certainly seemed to have their act together. Far more so than you, at present.”
I was livid. It wasn’t so much the financial loss of both my Navy issue Augoror and my standard Harbringer, and whatever hardware from them I wasn’t able to recover. Nor was it the astronomical repair costs to my Abbadon, with its now chasm-like holes ripped all the way through the hull. It was the growing suspicion the worm before me had set me up.
“I lost more than $100 million ISK worth of gear out there.”
“The standard rate of completion only applies here, regardless of loss to …” The agent suddenly found himself without airflow as I pushed the desk farther into his stomach. Concord be damned, I thought. If this agent pops like a dreamy bubble then it was the same risk I ran in taking his lies at face value before accepting this suicide run of a mission.
“Think of all the lives you saved out there,” he stammered, face turning red to blue.
“Damn them,” I replied. “The only important lives that are saved right now are mine …” I finally took my boot off the desk and the agent gasped at air for the first time in several minutes.
“… and yours.”
I picked up the credit receipt from his desk – a formality since I had already noted the funds were transferred to my account. Turning for the door, I heard a faint “wait – I have another mission for you.”
“Find another dog,” I gritted over my shoulder as I walked out, not bothering to look back.