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Oresbain switched on the small astro-mapping terminal. His mission was important and he wanted to be sure his chosen route was accurate. Many pirates before him had lost valuable time and money because of bad navigation. The destination was some run of the mill Concord patrolled system called Halaima. However, the prize was anything but normal. An entire industrial fleet operating at a belt during the sanctioned corporate war his colleagues had so generously arranged not three days before. Latest intra-corporate comms had indicated as many as four Hulk class miners being supported by an Orca command ship.

He phased out the map by flipping the H.U.D. back online. The Ishtar Class HAC creaked and shook as its engines fired up and Oresbain entered the jump sequences. Frozen Miner had been with him a long time; often the only ship within multiple jumps of travel. He had been forced to make special adjustments this time and as a result her maneuvering was a bit more sluggish than his regular standard nano-enhanced setup.

Light and matter compounded in an explosion of transmitted velocity as the gate in Halaima received Frozen Miner from warp. Oresbain double check the local comm registry and set course for the Ninth planet's asteroid belt. His adrenaline surged when he came across their names still in the registry--the intel was still accurate! Bright blue afterburners kicked him back into his seat for the short system warp to the belt.


In the black of Halaima IX, shadows were being extinguished by the orange red glow of Ore industries strip mining lasers. A group of Ore's finest Hulk class mining vessels sat clustered around their command ship and mobile hangar. They sat motionless and proud; a space stonehenge in dedication to efficiency in industry.


Warp shed from his hull, he watched the targeting assist terminal tucked into the corner of his H.U.D. One red target was designated, then two, three, four; an industrial command ship sitting directly in the heart of the fleet! He kicked on the afterburner module to close the 12km between his ship and they prey. Targeting reticules sprang to life as his on board computer bracketed the slow-responding vessels. Frozen Miner slammed into the grouping of Hulks. Industrialist shields collided with assault ship armor and the resulting concussion countered emergency alignment thrusters. At the same moment, the Ishtar spewed Ogre II class combat drones into the already massed confusion of tritanium and energy. Mere moments passed before the first star explosion lit the night with fire and debris. The remaining Hulks continued to align as one managed to enter warp confusion. Oresbain cursed and continued to pulse his warp disruption computer at the remaining ships. Another starburst as his Ogres moved their angry teeth on to the final Hulk and his Ishtar spit hot antimatter plasma at the industrial command ship.

The final Hulk ignited in a flash of dust at nearly the moment Oresbain's comms flashed.

"Please, stop."

Oresbain let the Ogres chew away some of the Orca's remaining armor. "Would I do that? You're mining during a war buddy...you'll get exactly what's coming."

"You're right. Just stop. We're just trying to mine in peace. We didn't want this war. Lets work something out!"

"Haha, ok, how about some isk? Two hundred million should do the trick," he laughed as he keyed up his account in the computer and waited for an indication of a deposit. Moments later his grin grew and his eyes sparkled when the 200 million joined his original balance. "Thanks. Now, did ya wanna work something out or not?"

"You son of a bitch."