My resume for The Scope was declined a week prior, not knowing why I chose to inquire with a passing Scope journalist. The Gallente boy was hardly any older than I was but he had a look of someone that has experienced a lot. Regardless of the awkwardness of the situation, I pushed on to talk with him. Sitting next to him now, at a lone corner in the Triad, looking at the barren planets below had a stress different from anything I’ve gone through before. Before I could say a word he looked over and asked my name. For but a moment I was stunned, still shocked by the fact I was going so far for a simple job. A hard swallow helped push the words out.
“My name… just call me… er… 78…”
Though the air was stale with the silence that followed, I knew he found it to be an odd name. Without a second thought I began to explain it a bit more, feeling obligated to. After showing the carved “78” in my arm his smile seemed to dim down. Feeling that I had made things sad I began to apologize in a frantic manner but he shook his said and said it was fine. The moment was awkward, twice over what it was before, yet I managed to remember my reason for being here. As soon as I started talking about my application to Scope he informed me that the branch I was applying for was dispersed in order to keep the focus on the news network.
It was saddening to hear that I wouldn’t have the job I sought, but I still inquired further, asking “why” wherever I could. It seemed like forever, especially when there is no sunrise to tell if it was truly late. A new silence took place of the old, but this one was seemingly darker. As soon as the station spokeswoman blared over the speakers the familiar, “suicide in public areas is strictly prohibited” his brow raised at my cold response to it. His smile that I thought long gone by now had come back. In the instant I tried to ask what was happening he handed my a small com link implant, saying, “If you are really after what I think you are, then you’ll want to have a talk with the new branch”. Taking the device with an ounce of caution, my hand shaking just slightly, he stood, his hand on my shoulder and walked off haughtily. His last words before being out of ears reach were, “Don’t think you can take my rank though”.
Staring into the stars, trying to grasp what just happened took longer than I would have liked. I breathed in deeply as the devices sharp edge burrowed into my skull, but was surprised at the painlessness. When the implant was fully installed I could see location markers of gates, stations, and DED space. There was little to go on this lead except the small logo in the corner, “Agency”. Still shaken, I found it hard to leave the seat. “What kind of corporation would have employees install implants?” kept going through my mind.
While my mind was still wrapping around the subject, I noticed a location marker had a glowing icon over it and a text string “dock here”. To be honest I was afraid of what could be waiting there, a pirate outpost, or perhaps even drifters, yet I still found myself walking to my ship. The trip was rather short, only having 5 constellations accessible in the Triad made every tripa short one. My pod slowly released the pressurization and retracted the metallic tubing, but I still felt too numb to move. It was uncommon for such a thing to happen so I took it at fear, fear of the unknown. The feeling became intense when I hurt my ship’s exit hatch open without my command and I immediately tried to shout for aura to respond. The word “aura” barely brushed my lips before a hefty man in armor leaned over me and gave a jesturing remark of my inhuman height. Mercenaries never had a choice in how we looked, but all our bodies were monstrous and powerful, having to withstand the harshest of environments.
“I was a mercenary… a medic… so step back”
When the words medic left my mouth he laughed heartily but stepped back nonetheless. My movements to get out of my pod were careful, being cautious of myself and the man that boarded my ship. When I was able to stand firmly again he asked why I was here and I replied with the story of my application to Scope. A strange grin cracked his face, as though my application was the funniest thing in the world but he had to hold back the laughter.
We walked through halls at a pace that now sleemed slower than a rorqual under heavy stasis. While I had a bit of time I asked the man some things about this “Agency”, what kind of stories I would be doing, what the implant was for, and why a Scope employee told me to come here. His sigh following the end of the sentence was not one of impatience but a struggle to find any words. In the end he simply replied, “you won’t exactly being be doing any news job, kid”. With a shocked look on my face I asked if I was being turned away, but he shook his head and stated, “that’s not really what we do”. I in turn asked what is the Agency does but the only reply I got was another strange grin. The quiet seemed louder than screams, multiplying every fear I felt before I came.
At the end of the final hall was a lone door, noise muffled through the layers of Tritanium alloy but still audible. The man grasped the lock and slowly opened the door, revealing the busiest room I have ever seen. Boards alight with locations, bounties, news reports, and a few minor things that teetered on the edge of legal. People were racing around, hardly anyone noticed us in the doorway as we watched them move around.
“What is this place?”
The mans hearty laugh pierced through all the sound as he answered, “this is your new home”. I looked over at him with confusion and he seemed glad to explain. His words were more gentle, “Scope gave up this branch, we took it over and are making it ours… Without the favoritism”. The last words he said were quiet and could barely be heard but I understood what he meant. In one quick movement he grabbed my hand and shook it with strength beyond that of a capsuleer, a smile replacing his grin as he spoke, “I’m sure you’ll do great here, and let me be the first to say this to you, kid… Welcome to The Agency”.