Saturday, 18 July 2009

Small World

N1 surveyed the inside of the Terra Vista Restaurant in Republic Justice Tribunal. Low, indirect lighting softly lit the bars interior, and the scores of customers seated inside. Almost every race was represented in the bar: a group of Intaki pilots sat at the centre table, sipping cocktails and speaking in a language incomprehensible to N1. A couple of Sebeistor teenagers spoke in low tones in a table to the far right corner of the bar, casting dirty looks at a trio of Ammatar pilots who were smoking heavily at the adjacent table. As N1 crossed the bar he noticed other races; groups of Achura, Krusal, Jin Mei, Gallente and Brutor.

“But no Ammarrians” N1 thought.

Such was to be expected in Matari space. The Minmatar detested Ammarians, and Minmatar proprietors would often ban Ammarians from their premises, regardless of political affiliation or religious beliefs; simply because of their race.

Sighing, N1 crossed the room. In his dark robe and hood, he stood out from the remainder of the restaurant. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that the Sebeistor couple had turned their attention away from their Ammatar neighbors to shoot him looks of pure loathing. The Intaki group at the centre table collectively glanced at him and fell back to their conversation. N1 briefly considered going back to his ship and finding a friendlier station in Amarrian space but decided against it, instead walking to the bar at the back of the room and sitting down at one of the many stools available there, next to a burly looking Brutor. As he sat down, the Brutor shot him a slight glance and returned to watching the massive plasma TV mounted against the far right wall of the bar. The television was replaying a Scope broadcast from several hours ago. A picture of a lone Minmatar soldier sat in a court house with his lawyer. Underneath read the slogan ‘Roc Wieler: Soldier or Slaver?’

As he watched, the Brutor sitting next to him snorted:

“Psh, the whole worlds gone to shit, The Angel cartel has taken Konora, and all they can focus on is one soldier making some money on the side”

“Yes, well,” N1 replied “what he is doing is wrong.”

The Brutor turned and surveyed N1. The scowl on his face seemed to fade slightly and he surveyed the Amarrian pod pilot through fresh eyes.

“You do not support the slave trade?” he asked


“That is very odd for someone such as yourself; All the Ammarrians I meet seem to be all up in arms in support of slavery.”

N1 shrugged: “I honestly don’t care. I am a pod pilot. The world planeside is of no concern to me. I fly ships, I ransom people for money, such is life. People enslave people out of laziness, and while my race veils their intentions with religious rhetorical claptrap,Their base motives are as despicable as any common thug”

The Brutor was about to retort when the bartender tapped N1 on the shoulder. He turned, half expecting the barkeep to ask him to leave:


“Do you want a drink?” the bartender asked

“Ah yes” he replied “May I have a beer please?”

The bartender turned, filled a rather large tankard with beer from one of the taps on the bar front and slammed it down before N1, sloshing a great deal of the amber liquid on the table.

“Oh come off it!” N1 said sharply “I am in here for a drink. I am not going to enslave anybody. Take your damn prejudices and run on back to Pator where somebody gives a shit!”

The bartender looked for a moment like he would sincerely like to hit N1, but restrained himself, shot him a look of pure loathing, and returned to cleaning glasses. Throughout the entire encounter, the fellow Brutor sitting at the counter looked entirely unphased. As the bartender left, he chuckled slightly: an invitation to continue conversation.

“I assume you see that often” N1 muttered

“All the time, my friend. Do you receive such dislike so regularly often?”

“All the time”

The two fellow pilots chuckled slightly. Overhead, on the TV, Roc Wieler was led away from the courthouse back into custody. The Brutor pilot exhaled heavily and returned to his drink.

“The Minmatar navy has lost a great officer” He sighed

“They shall find another one” N1 said evenly, “And perhaps he will do the same things as his predecessor, perhaps he will not”

“That’s a very cynical viewpoint”

N1 shrugged “Cynicism often speaks truths that are too negative and awkward for people to accept”

“Where are you from originally?” The fellow pilot asked

“Me?” N1 replied, “Athra”

“I thought we were supposed to be called ‘Amarr prime’”

“We are”

The two fellow pilots fell silent. N1 downed the rest of his drink and stood to leave. The Brutor pilot stood too.

“I really never got to know your name” the Brutor pilot said as N1 began to leave.

“I’m N1” he replied “Yourself”

“Daal” he replied “I shall see you around”

N1 smiled as he left. “I am sure I will”

1 comment: