At times the void seemed all consuming, it’s darkness stretching into infinity in every direction around them. At times it was difficult to even keep ones sense of dimension without some kind of landmark to ground oneself. Sometimes they were like planets, fixed in place long before the first Capsuleers took to the stars. But it was obvious that humankind was establishing their own points of reference with increasing regularity, filling the vast ocean of space with what they create. Or, more often, what they destroy.
The last moments of their life had been excruciating, and yet beautiful in their own way. The frigates had broken apart one at a time in bright white explosions that pockmarked space. The death of the Vagabond had been much slower, and consequently painful. The shield splintering and crackling under fire before the armored plates began to cave. It’s heated surface finally burst as the hull gave way, bodies suddenly vented into the black. They had thought to make easy prey of a Federation Battleship, thinking they could down the Hyperion with sheer numbers.
It wasn’t alone however, something was watching. Not in the shadows, but rather in the light. It bent around the Helios and concealed it from harm. It was a mute witness, unknown to the Condors and Hookbills that descended on the Federation ship. From a certain angle the bizarre shape of the Helios seemed to look like a face, it’s twin top mounted engines an enormous set of eyes and it’s windows were like teeth.
Data flooded into it from a number of scanning probes, sensing ships even on the very edges of the system. It saw everything, heard everything, even dying screams as it tapped into internal ship communications. These were each recorded and then automatically placed in a wider databank onboard, almost as an afterthought while it gave the federation fleet a constant update on the changing battlefield conditions. With one final radiant crescendo the Caldari fled, leaving the ruined husks of it’s comrades behind.
Everything was very still, silent, the Sunspear did some of it’s best work in silence like this. Slowly the Helios decloaked and moved to the Condor first, scanning it’s remains. The human crew onboard began to get to work. Black masked and dressed in dark clothes of the same, the only other defining color was the unmistakable green of the Federation. They were relatively few in number, even though the Helios could take many more people onboard the advanced automated technology onboard meant that few extra hands were needed. But each person who was onboard was highly specialized and had been doing their work for quite a long time.
Pieces of technology were pulled from the hulks, each one deposited into the cargo bay with remarkable efficiency. Some parts of the Condor were intact enough for a team to board. They donned their life support suits and entered the twisted ruins of what once was a majestic warmachine. They looked for anything that might be valuable: Weapons, salvageable parts of armor, damaged drones and fried microchips, nothing was left alone.
The cargohold had been expanded significantly from the original design. This was done to collect the enormous haul of machinery that it often collected at the end of it’s trips. It had held everything from state of the art Caldari equipment to esoteric Triglavian and sleeper tech during it’s salvaging missions. Most of these modifications were made by the FIO, but oddly enough one particular portion of the ship had been designed by the Quafe company. No one outside the ship was let inside, leaving it’s exact contents a mystery on the rare occasions outsiders were let anywhere near it.
Finally it left, it’s body once again vanishing into the void as it’s cloaking systems activated. Nothing was left behind, it was as though the participants of the battle had simply ceased to be. The end of the mission was the same as it began, with a woman’s voice speaking to everyone on the ship.
We are the light, we are the sun
We hear everything, yet we see even more
They burn, like our heart, our eyes, our lungs
Everything ends in ashes, and an angels song
We are a promise