As Keacte dropped out of warp and approached the station boundary forcefield, docking permission was granted by station control, and slowly but gracefully he was pulled into Sector H.
As he rounded the rusty station bulkead adjacent to the battleship terminus, he could see other pilots disembarking onto the sky pontoon within Sector H. Loon, Glepp, Yamir, & Caldak were stood adjacent to the Corporate debrief facility, and were speaking animatedly. They occasionally looked up toward their ships and gestured.
As his hurricane was pulled into the docking bay, Keacte disengaged the ignition chip, and gradually a silence fell throughout the cockpit. His ears were ringing, and his fingertips felt numb from the vibration. As he powered down, the emergency lights flickered on in unison throughout the cockpit.
Keacte reached up above his head and pulled out the flight manifest flicking to the ship performance report section. He took a pen from his inside pocket whilst clicking the clicker a few times as he read the document. His eyes flicked down through the document. Having read through the questions, he ticked the appropriate boxes, eventually completing the form as he itemised his remaining ammos, boosters, drones and paste. He looked at his watch, and signed and dated the schedule. Everything was good – just some cosmetic damage he thought to himself as he folded the document and tucked it inside his inside pocket. Keacte rose from the pilots cockpit chair, and made for the blast door flicking various shut down switches along the way to disembark in time for the debrief.
As Keacte pulled the blast door release mechanism, the air from outside rushed inward swirling around him, as the dusty, and nanite paste ridden air engulfed his lungs. He was home. Safe.
As the pneumatic blast door rose open, he ducked under the door before it was fully extended, and descended the pilots ramp. More pilots had congregated adjacent to the corporate debrief facility. By now there must have been 20 or 25 pilots stood chatting and laughing. They were wearing various different styles of military fatigues, all in the Agony colours – from the new pilot ribbons, to the Squadron Leaders, and right up to the Directors, who by now were heavily decorated from various military campaigns over recent years within Agony.
Keacte strode along the sky pontoon, and reached into his inside pocket and thrust the ship performance report into the hands of the nearest service and maintenance engineer. He eventually joined the group of pilots right as Glepp called for everyones full attention. Glepp turned and ushered everyone into the debrief facility, and slowly everyone filtered in, as he commenced the post-op debrief.
“Comrades – you did good out there today! PVH is safe. For now…”. Glepp trailed off pensively. Something wasn’t quite right with this reaction. Normally after a successful defence fleet of this nature, Glepps voice rings through with a warm tone. Today was different though.
Glepp walked over to the control panel, and gently flicked a switch upward, and slowly the lights dimmed within the confines of the debrief room. The privacy glass within the facility quickly frosted over as she clicked another button, and the projector glass screen emerged from above.
As the darkness consumed the room, Glepp slowly fumbled around her breast pocket, eventually removing a laser-pointer from her heavily decorated top pocket. Glepp paused and clicked the pointer randomly a few times – its red shard piercing the air of the increasingly smokey room. She pointed toward a region map which slowly appeared on the screen as the darkness descended.
“Gentlemen – we have a threat forming within our midst within New Eden.” The screen flickered showing the familiar topography of ‘The Bleak Lands’.
Glepp continued – “We have reports coming in of Minmatar Militia attacking representatives of the Amarr Empire on sight in Kamela and the surrounding systems. The Amarrian Empire have just this day approached Agony Unleashed to provide combat ready support, and because of our long history in New Eden they want our help – Your next assigment starts now!! The Minmatar are known to bait, hotdropping heavies on unsuspecting locals – you have been forewarned – they have dread & carrier capacity. Stay alert, stay focussed and be ready!”
Keacte sighed inwardly, he knew exactly what this meant.
Glepp continued, “I need intel on them and I need it now – I want to know where the Titan POS is – yesterday.”
A silence fell over the room as Glepp stepped backward and gestured to Loon to continue.
Carenthor Loon stood up and took control of the post-op briefing. He looked tired today. The ravages of space looked to be taking its toll after a full week of deep space recon in Pure Blind – something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
He paused as he walked slowly over to the control panel and cleared his throat. As he arrived at the console he slowly poured a glass of water taking a sip, and carefully placing the glass back down. He clasped his hands behind his back and looked out towards his pilots, “I need eyes in all adjacent systems 24/7 – morning, noon and night. Tuomata, Kourmonen, Huola, Lamaa, and all adjacent systems – I want them covered with eyes – find me their Titan POS!”
Glepp added to this statement – “If one of them has a shit – we want to know about it – give me details!”
Loon laughed and smiled under his breath, and continued. “I want to know what they’re flying, who they’re flying with, how many of them? – DETAILS! I need details.” Pausing again momentarily, he brought his hands in front of him making a fist with his right hand; “I don’t want us to fall for their baiting trap… I want them …down. If – sorry…” Loon trailed off again and thought for a second, “…when they hotdrop us – I want to counter them with our own hotdrop. Let’s do this! – let’s show them the true force of Agony!” – as he completed this sentence, he simultaneously drove his fist into the palm of his other hand with a slap.
Now… that was a clarion call.
Loon picked up the glass and poured the remainder of the water from the jug, and dismissed the pilots; he looked revitalised, and now had a twinkle firmly in his eye.