The chief and clan leader of the Kraag sat behind a large table in his office. The walls behind him were decorated with all kinds of relics. Ancient ceremonial weapons which have been passed on is his clan for centuries, large decorated shields as well as some medals showing the outstanding performance of his youth. He looked at Verrai, who had just had entered the room.
Verrai, a large Brutor in his 50’s looked at the slightly older Clan Chief. His felty hair hung over his noble black coat. He himself was the “Sirah” - the head of his family.
“Chief Jangkar” Verrai put his right fist on his chest and bowed his head slightly. Then he raised his head and his voice. “Long time not seen old Friend. You were not present at my daughters wedding last week. Is everything alright?”
He looked at Jangkar appraising his health and his motives to inviting him here. The chief never invited anyone without a special reason.
Jangkar got straight to the point. He left his throne like chair and went bluntly towards Verrai. After a solid handshake Jangkar sighed and put one hand on the Brutor’s shoulder.
“I’m proud of your daughter Ver, Shakar is an excellent catch for her, but I was busy with something of great importance, take a seat, let’s discuss it.”
The tone of Jangkar’s voice felt tense and dangerous. Verrais muscles tensened up, too. It worried him that there was something that had made the chief postpone this important wedding. A clan-crossing marriage wasn’t considered an every day event, and it was considered very rude for the chief not to show up. This fact had caused him a lot of diplomatic troubles at the party.
After both men took place on a wide couch covered with the soft fur of noble animals, Jangkar spoke.
“Verrai, your family has a good relationship to the Valentine family?”
Verrai thought for a moment “We have some business with them and they are very tame, typical vherokior. They have become quite wealthy recently and we are doing good busin-”
Jangkar interrupted him. “Yes they have.”
His voice changed to a conspiratorial tone. Verrai wanted to protest against what the chief would probably say, but suddenly the later put his arm on Verrai’s shoulder and his gaze pierced his eyes.
“Verrai… we will take their wealth from them!”
Puzzled he looked into the brown eyes of his chief. “What are you talking about? We can’t …”
“We can!” The chief cleared his throat “And we have valid reasons. The Valentine family are mismanaging their business and this is not acceptable for our clan. Instead of returning profits to us, they are wasting a lot of valueable ressources. I have spoken to others. The Kabal, Salit, Hasira, EIfyr, Kopam and Xanaa families all stand behind me.”
“Chief with all respects, are you planning a plot on our brothers? They are Vherokior, but they never caused any trouble”
“Listen to me. Over the last months we have installed our people on every important position inside their business. We have gained some interesting insights. Our installed CFO found much evidence of corruption. Did you know that Kala’s granddaughter has embezzled 1 billion ISK for her personal gain once? The money returned a few days after, but it’s still very suspicious. We didn’t even know about their wealth, but their family owns much more then just the factories here on Frarn V yet they insist of not paying us accordingly. They have plotted against us!”
Verrai looked puzzled for a moment. He didn’t know the answer and he didn’t know if he was more surprised by the chiefs plan or by the sum of one billion ISK. An unimagineable amount of wealth.
“Komi is her name? I remember she embarassed one of my sons once when denying him. She build this business with some capsuleers help, right? How else could one human gather that much money?”
“Yes she did. Did you knew we set up a clan sponsorship for her? We paid for her education and even her first ship and what does she do? Ignore us. We have a claim on this business! I already tried to discuss this with Kala, but you know the old snake. Her opinion is that the debt has long been paid and we should be grateful to provide good jobs to our clan members.”
“If this is true and the Valentines are clearky not playing by the rule of the clan sponsorship, you have my support. Such contract counts for a lifetime. However I am a little concerned about this whole endeavour. Betraying a family will not look good for our clan”
The old chief waved if off and grumbled
“We are in trouble right now. The Styx clan merged with some more families in the North. Families we wanted to integrate since the south is blocked by the sea. If our clan wants to survive in the long term there is no other way. Just imagine the possibilities if we - the Kraag clan - takes over this family business and run it profitable for our people. We will share this wealth and we might even scoff the northern clans. Of course your family will profit from the deal as well. We are fair unlike those shady vhekkies.”
Suddenly Jangkar’s expression changed becoming more calming.
“There is more I should tell you. The the arrogance and inexperience of the Valentine family have led to this…”
He grabbed a datapad from somewhere and handed it to Verrai:
Jangkar explained. “I am sorry for your loss. I knew Thyr was one of your favourite grandsons. As far as we know NOBODY made it.”
The datapad showed the battle report of the cruiser Ver’s grandson boarded 3 weeks ago.
Verrai threw the datapad on the ground with such a force that it shattered into hundreds of pieces. All his concerns were washed away by anger and sadness that made him even more angry.
"This gives us the perfect opportunity. Without her public “princess” he snorted contemptuously “there is nothing their small family can do. Her death is not confirmed yet, but she likely is. The ship was destroyed two days ago and there still is no contact. This is our opportunity.”
Verrai’s fists were still tense.
“She better be death! If she is not I will take care of her with my own hands!”
It all went like Jangkar expected, knowing the temperament of his old friend quite well. He smiled contentedly before they sealed the deal with a glass of Brandy.