Darker Space

Space is darker in the Syndicate. Trajon Thrax had always found this appealing. He leaned against the metal railing of the concourse holding a silver bracelet in his hands. Beneath him was his Strategic Class Cruiser. There was a swarm of activity on the lower level beneath him as his crew loaded cargo aboard the Loki and readied the ship for departure. The most trusted members of his crew handled containers filled with valuable modules that Trajon knew he would need very soon. However, he paid no attention to the work going on below him. Instead, he stared past the hanger to the dark skies beyond. Thoughts raced through his head as he began to question himself on his recent choices.

A new name appeared on Trajon’s neocom alerting him that a new Capsuleer had entered the system. Over the years he had created the habit of noticing this information immediately and checking the personal information of the Capsuleer. Trajon didn’t have to access the info this time. He knew everything he needed to know the moment he saw the name.

Trajon now found it odd that he had rarely thought of the tens of thousands of people that were present within a system at a given time. He had only ever concerned himself with the Capsuleers that appeared on his neocom screen. It was as if the Capsuleers were the only humans that mattered in New Eden. He was ashamed that he had lived years with this attitude. That had all changed.

A Kaalakiota designed Interceptor entered the hangar with precision. For those who had an eye for it, you could tell this wasn’t the average Capsuleer. If the piloting didn’t alert you of that, the 27 killmarks on the nose of the Crow did. You could feel the activity in the hangar area slow as crew members and dock workers pause for a moment to watch the entrance of the frigate.

It’s not a quick task to exit a ship upon docking in a station for a Capsuleer, much less exiting the pod in which a pilot commands the ship from. Trajon had plenty of time to make his way to the hanger bay housing Darkon Chanlin’s Crow. Trajon smiled as he saw his mentor step out of the elevator that brought him to the upper concourse. He had extreme reverence for the man who had taken him under his wing and forged him into a true combat pilot. Nonetheless, as dangerous of a pilot as Thrax had become, he knew he would never be the pilot his mentor was and Trajon was fine with that.

Darkon sneered as he looked over Trajon’s shoulder to the Loki 4 platforms over. Trajon knew exactly what he was thinking. Darkon loathed the thought of an ABA pirate flying anything other than a frigate. In a universe of cut-throats and thieves, Pirate Lord Rixx Javix made sure that any Capsuleer who flew under his banner did so with honor. Darkon exemplified that honor. Trajon thought he did so to a fault. As Darkon began to speak, Trajon felt a knot forming in his stomach. He had dreaded this conversation for a week.

“What are you doing in M2-C in a Loki? I thought I taught you better than that.”

“You know I love that ship.”

“I know that, but you don’t fly around solo in a Loki out here in Null Sec Mate. You will lose that ship to the first gate camp you stumble upon. Your fancy cloak tricks won’t save you out here.”

“I have that ship here because I’m taking it to VV-V.”

“And why would you be doing that?”

Trajon could tell that Darkon already knew the first answer he was about to give. But Darkon would never be able to grasp the true reasons why. He had recited to himself the speech he would give a thousand times over the last week. He mustered up the courage to speak with a deep breath.

“I’m leaving Stay Frosty.”

Darkon’s expression caught Trajon off guard. He was expecting anger or a verbal beratement. He was expecting anything other than the look that Darkon gave him. The look of understanding. It took a few minutes for either Capsuleer to speak again. They both turned and placed their elbows on the railing and looked out over the hanger. Darkon broke the silence.

“Have you told Rixx?”

“Not yet. I have a message prepared to send to him as soon as I jump into VV”

“Why out here in Syndicate Space?”

“A new beginning.”

“Mate, I guess it comes down to what makes you happy. I don’t need to fly with others, I have my own style which keeps me engaged. It’s nice to get respect but not essential. Roaming around solo pirating isn’t for everyone?”

They both laughed at the sound of that understatement.

“Darkon, It’s not about pirating and respect. I know you have kept up with the news and you have been watching what is going on in Placid. Well I sat in Intaki as the Federation took it over. I was there to see it with my own eyes. Wave after wave of Federation ships stormed the system. They overran Intaki V. Overnight they flooded Intaki with ships and construction projects. Do you know how many Capsuleers came to Intaki that day? Maybe 10, and they were not there to help. They were there to site-see. Some came to gloat. I lost it. I realized I have been oblivious to what has been happening to my people. I have spent the majority of my life making myself wealthy at their expense. I’m done with that life.”

“I understand Trajon, but why are you leaving Intaki then?”

“I’m coming home to the Syndicate. I don’t think there is much that can be done now for Intaki and Intaki V at the moment, maybe I’m wrong. But I think I can make a difference out here for the Intaki of Syndicate. They have the resolve to forge their own way. They created all this by sheer will when the Federation banished them here to die. My family were exiles. My place is here. I’m not sure where this path is going to lead me, but I know I have to walk it.

“I respect that.”

Trajon turned to face Darkon and held out his hand.

“I have something for you.” Handing him the silver bracelet.

“I want you to have this. It’s a Cycle of Ida Bracelet. It symbolizes the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. I’m not a reborn Intaki. I don’t even follow the ways of Ida, but in a way this is a rebirth for me. I will never forget where I came from and everyone who has helped me along the way. Especially you.

“I want to wish you good luck Trajon. But, you know that you will be a target now that you aren’t in Stay Frosty.”

“I know this. And if I ever see you in my pocket of Null I’m going to take full advantage of that fact. I have work to do for my people, but that doesn’t stop the fact that I love to remove pods from ships. And if I ever get the chance to remove you from yours I will. And if I do, I’m going to hang a memento of the occasion on my wall.

They both laughed again as Darkon began walking to the elevator. He turned and grinned at Trajon with a cocky smirk.

“Don’t get your hopes up Mate. You’re not that good.”

Standing by his Loki Trajon watched the Crow exit the hanger. It was a surreal moment for him to watch his mentor fly off into space for the last time as an ally. He knew the next time he saw him in space it would be as an opponent. A surge of excitement flowed through Trajon at that moment. Everything was changing and a new adventure awaited him past the star gate to VV-VCR.

An Intaki Syndicate official walked up and stood next to him. Trajon turned to his father and said:

“Tell Auriga Menkalinan I am on my way”

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