“I am really starting to understand the sentiments of Caldari dissenters. These Megacorps are really good for NOTHING! They care more about profits and their bottom line than about the people they govern and employ. Crazy. All I asked for was a few State Navy cruisers and frigates, and a few companies of troops, but noooo. The Sukuuvestaa wants to buy arms from Ariend Arms, and they don’t want to be involved in a raid on an arms factory owned by that said corporation. Geez, give me a break. Arms factory? I gave you evidence it’s a slave labor facility! Shouldn’t slave labor be illegal in the State? Goodness! I swear … these damn megacorps have absolutely no morals. If it lets them raise their profits, they’ll do it. I hope my other contacts are more accommodating.”
- Duke Shasta Ardeind
26th January YC123
Youl VII - Moon 10 - Amarr Navy Logistical Support station
“Well, Fleet Commander?” Shasta said, entering Ezia Minaru’s office in the station. “Have you gotten a response from your friends in the Caldari Navy?”
“Yes, I did. And you won’t like it,” Commander Minaru replied. “You said that the facility is located … where?”
“Jakanerva, in the Forge region,” Shasta replied. “As I told you the first time.”
“Yes, yes, you did. Well, the Sukuuvesta Corporation has a lot of clout in the region,” Minaru stated. She sighed. “The State has been outsourcing its military needs to the private security forces of the eight megacorporations. I’ll be honest, it’s stupid, but I’m not really one to judge. Anyway, there are very few Caldari Navy units stationed in the area. You would need to work with the private security force of the Sukuuvesta.”
“And let me guess, they are unwilling to do so?” Shasta said.
“No. In fact, the Sukuuvesta are adamant that you cannot do anything to this facility,” Commander Minaru said.
“What the … ? You’re kidding!” Shasta exclaimed.
“Nope. They literally told me to tell you to, and I quote, butt the ■■■■ out,” Commander Minaru said. “I’m sorry.”
“But, why? Did you show them the evidence I gave you? Showing that the facility was a prison labor camp, and possibly a slave labor camp?” Shasta exclaimed, exasperated. “Isn’t slavery illegal in the State? How are they not getting ready to attack the facility?
Minaru sighed. “My guess, money. The Sukuuvesta are in talks with Ariend Arms to supply the Sukuuvesta’s private security force with Ariend Arms weaponry. And therefore, they are reluctant to assault an Ariend Arms arms factory.”
“An arms factory,” Shasta said in disbelief. “Is that really what they are calling it?”
“Goodness gracious, do they have no shame?!?” Shasta said, exasperated.
“Ariend Arms, or the Sukuuvesta?”
“Both! Kyvon, I swear, you will destroy the family!” Shasta swore loudly. Ezia grimaced
“Keep it down, please. I get that you’re upset, but I don’t want people looking at me weirdly for the rest of the week.”
“Sorry,” Shasta said. “Is there any chance that you can open a communication with one of your contacts? I just want to plead my case before a Caldari official, see if anything changes.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Ezia replied, turning to her computer. She typed in a few commands before speaking. “Ok, I can set up a holo between you and Commodore Hoiri Akirgen. He is one of the chief officials in the Sukuuvesta private security force assigned to Jakanerva.”
“Thanks,” Shasta said, as Ezia set up the holoprojector.
“Ezia, you called?” a holo of a tall Caldari officer appeared.
“Indeed, I did,” Ezia replied, standing in front of the projector. “You remember the raid I asked you about?”
“Yes, the proposal that was shot down,” the commodore replied. “I remember. Why?”
“The Holder who asked me to ask you for the raid is here. He wants to plead his case personally to you,” Ezia replied. “Duke Shasta?”
“Hello, commodore,” Shasta said. “I’m Duke Shasta Ardeind. I was the one who asked for the raid on the Ariend Arms complex. I am not sure if you have heard, but I have been in a feud with my elder brother, Kyvon. Being the vindictive man he is, he began rounding up my supporters a few weeks ago. I have recently tracked the kidnappers to a deadspace complex in Jakanerva.”
“The one you wanted me to raid, yes, I know,” the commodore replied. “Look, if you’re just going to repeat your request, then get off this communication. The answer is no, and that is final!”
“Sir, may I at least understand why you denied my request?”
“You’ve got no proof, that’s why!”
“No proof my ass! I told Commander Minaru here to send you an entire dossier! You’ve got to be kidding me!”
“Well, I didn’t get it!”
“Commander, did you send the package?”
“Yes, I sent it.”
“Well, Commodore? Still gonna say you didn’t get it?!?”
“No, I didn’t!”
“ … Did you just call me a liar? Your request is still denied. Commander, good day to you!” the commodore shut off his holoprojector, ending the communication.
“Asshole,” Shasta mumbled.
“I’m sorry,” Ezia said. Shasta nodded as he stormed out of the office, reaching into his pocket for his comlink.
“Well?” Shasta heard.
“Praetor, the request was denied,” Shasta replied.
“Damn it! What are you gonna do now?” Najir replied.
“I’ve still got a few contacts. I’m gonna reach out, see what I can get.” Shasta replied, storming down the corridor.
Kyvon’s guard commander, Muhammad Chavez Yousuf, finished frisking the young Jin-Mei woman who had just entered the abandoned apartment. “She’s clear, sir.”
“Come in,” Kyvon called from the bedroom.
“This is one of the apartments of Ariend supporters you kidnapped, isn’t it?”
“Indeed it is,” Kyvon replied. “You’re smart, Miss Chang.”
Amilia Chang frowned. “Here,” she said, handing over a pair of datacards. “That’s the last of the data. Oh, and I want out.”
“Thank you. You want out? Ok. You know what’ll happen to your sister. Cho, I think is her name?” Kyvon said, accepting the datacards.
“Oh, you’ve got nothing on us now. We’ve already cleared the debt.” Amilia said. “Two million was transferred to your account from the Chang family account earlier this morning.”
“You … ,” Kyvon said angrily. “Fine! I’ll still get you.”
“Good luck with that. I’ll be more careful this time,” Amilia replied smugly as she walked out of the apartment.