Jin-Mei beyond the Limit

Hello everybody.

Early this year I wrote the story “Jin Mei leaving Home”. It is time for a follow-up story, so I hope you enjoy the sequel.

Main Characters:

Daiko Kobayashi - Navy Second Lieutenant; Navy Pilot at Jel VIII-20; entered service as Volunteer Cadet in December 123
Aiko Matsuyama - Colonel - Department Head at the FIO; chasing the culprits of the Terrorist Acts of 122 and 123

Recurring Characters:

Celes Aguard - President of the Federation
Katya Itzimaru - Freelance Pilot; partially working for the FIO
Hoshi Kobayashi - Mother of Daiko
Alma Larousse - Navy Pilot, Friend of Daiko
Yarren Matsuyama - Husband of Aiko; former Navy Officer

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10.11.124 - Ation III

„…then he told me that he does not like women who are too engaged in their job.“

„Seriously? From which Century was that guy from?“

„I have no idea, but I tell you that I am done with dating at the moment.“

„Do not worry, that is nothing another hot chocolate can`t fix“

Alma raised her hand to get the attention of a waiter. When he arrived, she ordered two cups. A little later they got their drink. Daiko took the warm cup and held it in her hands before taking a sip. Then she looked to the right at the snowy panorama around.

The last half year had been good. After entering the Navy she had established her life on the station. But she had also learned to not let station life become too overwhelming and visit Planets in her free time. Alma Larousse, her best friend on the station, had invited her to visit the mountains here, because she loved skiing. Daiko was not a fan of that, but liked mountains anyway, so she had agreed happily.

Now they sat on the terrace of a cafe and although it was considerably cold, they enjoyed the moment sitting outside in their winter clothes and with a blanket around their legs. They looked down a valley surrounded by beautiful white mountains under a perfectly blue sky. Daiko leaned back and smiled.

She also needed a break. As much as she liked her professional life, it did not work quite as well in private. She had felt lonely and, as it is common nowadays, started to look for a date Online. The results had been quite bitter. The most recent one was the worst. He seemed to be nice from the first impression, but when they started talking during the first meeting, it became quite clear, that he had some very conservative ideas concerning the place of women in society. Jerk.

„Don`t give up, Daiko. Somewhere out there is the perfect guy waiting for you.“, Alma said.

„I am not looking for perfect. Right now I would be happy about a decent guy already.“

„You will find one. You know what? A toast to that.“. She took her cup and clinked Daiko`s. „To all the decent guys out there. May they stay single until we meet them.“

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13.11.124 - M-MD3B IV

He walked down a corrridor on one of the better Decks of the station, where meeting rooms were located. Eventually he reached the door of his destination. As he entered the room, it was completely dark besides a bit light coming from the large window on the other side. In between he saw a long table with chairs on both sides.

„Are you here?“, he asked into the darkness.

„Yes. At the window.“, a voice answered.

He walked toward the window. „Light?“

„No. It is fine.“

He reached the other side of the room and leaned against the window frame. After a short look into space, he turned his head toward the other man, who sat on a comfortable chair. Ennar Aeboul. For long years Head of the Thukker Tribe already, sat there and calmly monitored the black void outside.

„So. What is so important, Derek?“

„We have some new information, that may help us with our problem.“

„Aha. What is it?“

Derek Tohl`Shar reached for a small pad and handed it to Aeboul. The latter grunted annoyed, since he had to turn on the light a bit to be able to read. His eyes were not the best anymore. After a while he looked out of the window as if he tried to remember something. Then he smiled.

„I have not heard that name for quite a while. Is this confirmed?“

„Yes.“

„And you think you can trust them with it?“

„We have no better option. And so far I never had a reason to distrust them. After all they are my son`s Mentors.“

„Were.“

Derek took a deep breath. „Yes. But that does not change my opinion about them. I think, this is a chance, to approach the problem from a different angle. And maybe give us access to the Federation`s resources.“

„True.“, Aeboul said as he scratched his chin with his right hand. „Well, I agree. Establish a contact.“

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16.11.124 - Villore

„I see your point, Senator. And I absolutely agree that the Office must be subject to control by the civilian Government and the Legislative. But we are walking a thin line between being held accountable and getting hindered to do our job.“

„Colonel. Nobody wants the Office to not do its vital duty to protect the Federation. But in my opinion it is obvious, that right now the Office is too detached from the Legislative. Insight into your activities is too limited and linked to too much Bureaucracy. And when we are getting informed, then the Information is often too outdated already to have any meaningful influence on what is happening.“

„I know that you will disagree with me on this, but I am afraid that it is in the nature of an Intelligence Agency, that any information concerning ongoing operations must remain classified in order to not provoke any security risk.“

„You mean Politicians can`t be trusted?“, the Senator said with a smile.

„Would you in my position?“, the Officer replied, when she noticed that her communicator was vibrating.

„Please excuse me for a moment, Senator.“, she said as she got the communicator out of her pocket and distanced herself from the rest of the people. She saw, that her husband was calling.

„You just disturbed an important talk with a Senator. I love you for it. Is everything fine?...Really? I have not heard from him since, well, since it happened…Maybe he needs someone to talk to….Aha….Do you think it is serious?..Yes….Yes, do that….I have to admit, that I thought these times to be over….Yes…I love you too.“

Colonel Aiko Matsuyama put the communicator back into the pocket, but did not return to the event immediately. The yearly Intel Convention. Some kind of mix of celebration and informal meeting of members of the Intelligence and Political Community in order to get in touch with each other. Networking. She hated it, but it was a necessary evil.

She disliked it even more, when she had more important or interesting things do to. And right now she heard, that she had an appointment this weekend with an old friend. Well, maybe more her husband`s friend. But she wondered, what it would be about.

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20.11.2022 - Lirsautton V

She liked to be at home. The house was located on the upper part of a narrow hill and from the terrace one had a fabulous view over the landscape. Sitting here in the morning for breakfast was a relaxing event that she would like to have every day, but her job required her to be in the capital most of the time.

“When does he arrive?”, she asked.

“Should be in an hour.”, her husband said. She smiled at him. Yarren Matsuyama. Three years older. Her husband for thirteen years now. There had been some troubling times at the beginning, but that was a thing of the past. A former Department Head at Navy Logistics, he had gone into early retirement a year ago and now manages the family estate.

Belonging to the Saan Go caste, his family were landowners and minor shareholders in the regional food industry. He would not have had to work if he wanted to. But he did, which was fortunate, for otherwise she would not have met him. For a moment she thought about the old times a decade ago and all the tribulations they had gone through. Their visitor, that they expected today, was a remnant of that time. She wondered, whether those times were about to repeat themselves.


“Come in. Take a seat. Make yourself comfortabe.”, Yarren said to his friend an hour later.

“Good to see you, Derek.”, Aiko said and gave their guest a hug. “It was a too long time, since…”

“Yes.”, Derek Tohl`Shar said. “Thank you. It was a difficult time.”

The Thukker took seat. He had not been here often, despite Yarren having been a Mentor for his son. A strange fate, that a young Minmatar boy had a Jin-Mei as Mentor, but he had never to regret it. His son had grown up to be a good young man. Until…that accident. That changed everything.

The first hour went by with smalltalk about all the things that had happend recently. Eventually Yarren came up with a new topic.

“I have to admit, that I was surprised, that you would come here. It sounded, as if you have something on your mind. Besides…that…”

“Yes.”, Derek said. “Where to begin? Maybe you have heard about the conflict between the Seykal Clan and the Angel Cartel.”

“The Gang War.”, Aiko said. “A different Department was working on that, but as far as I know, they did not deem it important. A classical territory dispute between the Angels and the no less shady Krullefor Organization.”

“At first we thought the same. But we were approached a bit more than a year ago by the Seykal Clan, that there had been more to it than just that. Allegedly, and I just repeat what has been told to us, the Cartel was running large Operations in the Skarkon System. Someone inside the Krullefor allegedly has been about to find out something, but was killed in early 122 on Muttokon II. Before one was able to verify any suspicions, Skarkon fell to the Trigs. For the next twelve months, Krullefor did not only fight against the Cartel for their own interests, but to also gain some information about their Skarkon Operations.”

“Interesting.”, Yarren meant with a raised eyebrow.

“Agreed.”, Aiko said. “But, to be frank, why are you telling us about it?”

“Rumors, mostly. According to them, your Department led an Anti-Piracy Operation in April. And shortly later you got transferred to another Department. We are not sure about what exactly you are doing, but allegedly it has something to do with the Raiders.”

Aiko and Yarren exchanged glances. They knew Derek for quite some time and it was rather uncommon that he came out of the woods like this.

“I still don`t see, what this has to do with me.”, Aiko insisted.

“What if I told you, that eventually something was found. Something, that indicates a cooperation between Raiders and Angels. Right within the Empires.”

“Then I would say to you, that I would have to see what it is to determine its worth. Look. All I hear at the moment are vague insinuations about two known Criminal Gangs doing Criminal Stuff. Don`t get me wrong, but that is pretty thin. So thin, that the Republican Intelligence did not do anything about it, when you went to them, right?”

“Correct. And I do not blame them. See, I don`t expect you to tell me the purpose of your work. Yet. All I am asking for is, that you take a look at it, whether it is something valuable for you or not. But if so, then we are expecting, that you share your findings with us.”

Aiko looked at him. She did not know, what to make of this. It sounded like a random story. The FIO gets to hear random stories a lot on a daily basis, originating from concerned citizens. Almost all of them have no credibility. This here may be the same. But he seemed to be convinced, that he had something. And he was not a random nobody. Plus she did not risk anything.

“We will take a look at it.”

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30.11.124 - Villore

She walked along a narrow subterranean corridor under the Federal Capital. She liked to be here. And although the works for a new Presidential Bureau Station were on the way in Sinq Laison, she assumed that she would still spend a lot of time here. Eventually she reached the door of a meeting room and a guard opened the door for her. The room was basically empty, except one person, who now stood in attention and saluted.

“Madam President.”, Colonel Matsuyama said.

“Colonel. Good to see you.”, Celes Aguard replied. “I heard, that you have news for me. To be frank, I thought we would see us earlier already.”

Aiko Matsuyama tried to ignore the side blow. But, at the end of the day, the President was right. The recent months had seen some investigations, but little results. Maybe that would change now.

“Madam President, we have new informations, that may advance our investigations significantly.”

“Where do they come from?”

“The Thukker.”

“The Thukker?!”, Aguard said with a rarely heard surprised tone. “Now I am curious to hear the story.”

“Madam, the Thukker are a set of various Clans with a rather loose organization, with some of them hardly identifying themselves as part of an overarching Thukker structure. But we were approached by a messenger from Aeboul himself, who offered informations. The short version is, that a Thukker Clan was involved in a long feud with the Angel Cartel. Although ths conflict was also about dominance concerning racketeering, there was an underlying issue of a cooperation between the Cartel and the Blood Raiders.”

Aiko made a short break and looked at the President, but her face was just a focused mask. “Please go on.”

“Our informations indicate, that the Raiders transported Slaves out of the Skarkon system, which they obtained from the Cartel.”

“You mean, the Raiders bought Slaves? Hm, I am not an Expert, but aren`t rather Clones their target goup? How does that connect to the events of 122 and 123?”

“This is the weak point, Madam. We don`t know yet, if it does. So far, this is just a simple evidence for cooperation. But according to our pre-invasion Data, two locations of the Cartel in the Skarkon System are known. If these locations still exist, we may find further evidence for what exactly has been going on there.”

“That is vague, Colonel. Plus we would have to send a Team to Pochven. I assume, that you have made your mind up about investigating there already. Although I basically agree, I can`t stress enough, how important it is, that nobody detects our presence there. Triglavian Technology and its mindless use is causing enough damage already. We should not escalate the direct hostilities with them any further.”

“Yes, Madam. We will use our assets of the Association for this Operation.”

“I do not envy them. Well, I approve of this Mission. But, Colonel, take care that things do not get out of control.”

“Yes, Madam.”

“And something else…”

“Madam?”

“For the time being we keep our findings for ourselves.”

“But we got these informations…”

“Colonel.”, the President interrupted with a strict tone. She was the Commander-in-Chief now. “I am perfectly aware of the relationship of your family to the Thukker. But no matter what you may or may not have told them, we are keeping them on a short leash. If there is something, I don`t want half the Cluster to be in the know before we have done the next steps. We are doing the dirty work, so we also call the shots. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes, Madam.”

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04.12.124 - Iyen-Oursta III

The Association. The Federal Investigation Office and, to a lesser extent, the Federation Navy maintained a group of Freelance Pilots and other Personnel, that were hired for missions, in which the Federation did not want to get involved directly. Credible Dementi were the two operating words here. The FIO had some liaison officers, who stayed in contact with the members, also called Associates.

Since the Association was an informal institution, there was no official gathering point. Personnel was contacted and meeting points getting chosen if need be. Shipyards were good meeting points, because due to the multitude of customers being there every day, a small group of travellers, who also arrived individually, got hardly noticed.

Right now a Captain in civilian attire had explained to the present Associates the details of “Operation Grapevine”. The attendees were not impressed.

“One does not simply walk into Pochven.”, Katya Itzimaru said. The Intaki Pilot was already plotting a course toward the destination in her mind and she did not like what she imagined.

“Indeed.”, another Pilot said. “Filaments are a bad plan here, so we will have to go through a Wormhole. Skarkon? Then I would recommend, that we go through Molden Heath. We need people to constantly scan the systems and two shifts of people for the mission itself, one of which being on call.”

The group of Associates made agreeing sounds. “There is another thing. Unless we are the first to arrive at the Wormhole, we will have to get past EDENCOM. Is there a way to make them turn a blind eye when we go in and out?”, Katya asked.

“We will attempt to make it happen. But do not count on it. On the one hand it would be good, if the Wormhole would be unguarded, because after all we want nobody to know that you are there. But, on the other hand, we would have to pull some strings, and that may attract more attention than we want.”

The FIO Captain looked around and saw many focused and also worried faces. He did not blame anybody. Low- and Nullsec and also Wormholes were well known environments. Pochven must be different. He had never been there, but reports from coworkers drew a picture of Wormholes with amped up hostility. Well, nobody doubted the lethality of Triglavian forces and the people in this room knew that.

“I have to repeat…”, he said. “…that you secure any still present structures at the target locations and obtain any and all available data and other informations from the sites. Nothing is trivial, anything can be important. We need to know and acquire everything.”

“What are you looking for?”, a Soldier asked.

“That is the interesting part.”, the Officer said with a smile. “We don`t know yet.”

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