There Is No Place Like Home
Qec never thought he would ever make it to capsular let alone own his very own ship, hard work ethic and good values his mother installed in him at a young age sort of really payed off, until a few years had passed and he realized what he was truly missing in his life, that which he had spent years trying to run from, Family and Home.
Never one not to help a friend or stranger where ever he could had gotten Qec in a few scrapes in the past and he was sure it would in the future whether financial or with his life on the line, living was never easy out here in the far reaches of space, a hard working miner he had always been, making isk was, No big deal, keeping it was always the challenge,
though Qec knew quite a few people and had spent considerable time with them he never really felt he was there friend, nothing bad in that just they knew a lot of people them self's and out here where most of the time there was noone around to help you when things got tight or pirates were lurking about you have to keep your wits about you and friends complicate things as we all very well know, and as he was sure they all had family that needed looking after, Qec was no exception he had one sister and his mother back on his home world of ORIS, it had been years since he had seen them, his ship was old, ( but very loyal ) as loyal as a ship could be I guess, but communication, even though he wasn't very far from home was not an option, work days were long and isk never sleeps, he had little time to sit about and talk, need to eat, need to repair the ship, mining crystals cost alot and the rising prices were no help, so at night he would sit in his Quarters and starred at a holo-real he had made before he left Oris and thought about the promise he had made to his family about the riches he was going to bring them, or so he dearly hoped,
about 4 months out from departing in his tiny magnate, he came across a hard as nails combat pilot, shiny ships and kill mails were his way of life, the isk seem to flow endlessly, time spent in bars after each had completed a hard days work led to the two pilots getting to know one other, but not to well, Qec always kept his distance, though this professional respect did earn him his first retriever and from that Qec was soon able to advance to a hulk, a second hand ship that was atleast 120 years old, but it was his dream, feeling that his worrying days were over he focused on work and bringing in that ore, and never forgot what his Comrade had done for him, his name burnt on Qec's brain like neural implant malfunction he will never forget their time spent, Sublime Rage, a man within the true definition of the term, sure he was ruthless but that was his life, and even though after a job gone wrong and Qec's ships lost he will never forget him to this very day, valuable lessons learnt, not that Sublime Rage was the aggressor but competition in the belts had lead Qec to start thinking a little tip off or two might work in his favor and well when you start playing with fire you are bound to get burned, a small communication leak was all it took for a message to get scrambled and wind up in the wrong hands, Qec had stepped into a world he was not ready for and payed the price, after that he never saw his friend again, I guess it was best in the end
A small fortune he had managed to save went back into his work a smaller yet newer ship a Coveter was now his last and only chance of income, having sent a wire to his family, No Reply Needed that things were going well, gosh almost 2 years ago now he was shamed at what he had gotten himself into and didn't want them to know of his stupidity, his mother had warned him about all the fighting his father had done many years before he was born and how Qec was conceived on the only day in 12 years his father had returned home before the war started and he would never return home again, Qec had always felt his father knew what was coming and came home for that very reason, to give his loving and devoted wife the family she had always wanted even though he would miss out on their growning up, 2 children, twins, a son and a daughter, Qec missed his older sister, older by 3 minutes, Tenla, she was always there for him being the smaller kid on the block he needed looking after and now having come of age it was his time, his duty to look after them,
On an ordinary day like many others before Qec was sitting in station eating his meal when he was handed a flyer, a guy, a business man by the name of Atomsmasher was putting on a show, a beauty contest, Qec though what a trip it would be to enter his sister, maybe she would hear of this, still unable to admit to them he was so close to making their wished come true, Atom and Qec spoke for a while he gave him the only real photo he had of his sister and that was it, he never heard from the guy again and nothing ever came of it,
but the work must go on and there was a lot at stake, ground needed to be made up and the years were dragging on, 3,4 turned to 5,6, the ore buiness was hard, GoonSwarm had sent out a call to kill any miner on site, this made Qec cautious but never scared, I mean what could they do kill him, not much could compare to the longing he had for home and buy now 6 and a half years later stuck in a dead end system his thoughts had started to wonder fantasizing about never returning and ending it all, things get that way when you spend all your waking hours focused on a goal that always seems to be just out of your grasp,
mining had always been good to Qec it was honest work he was good at it, and promised his mother he would never take up the combat life style his father had payed the ultimate price for,
another year went by work was OK, Qec had watched so many around him die at the hands of goons, having found a cloaking device on one of his Belt scouting expeditions he had always had just enough time to activate before they came warping in like god almighty,
so many close calls and the cloak wasn't cheap to run, then one day out in the belts a seemly ordinary work day, Qec almost lost his mind, a vindicator appeared from nowhere, and locked his ship, was this it? 7 years hard work all for nothing, his computer lit up with a face he thought he would never see again, it was Sublime Rage,
"Qec my old friend, still wasting your days in the belts I see haha" Sublime Rage Said,
" please tell me you arnt here to kill me" Qec replied
Sublime Rage laughed "HAHA" "no you rock eater" " I am here to offer you a job, if this works you will be able to go home a proud man and I will have my revenge on and old enemy"
The two had got to talking Sublime Rage had done well for himself a family, a very nice ship, that not many in the verse could match and in this was his dilemma, as most ships would run from him, Qec had thought it was a slit bit dangerous to have a family on a war ship, but it was not his place to push the matter,
they talked well into the night, the deal was simple, Qec was to be bait to lure the others ship out, mining ships did this well as many should have, when built been painted with a target on their hulls, not a combat pilot by any means, yet Qec had to deal with them on a daily basis, the term Carebear made him sick, as he was no coward, just a hard worker in an unarmed ship
This played in his mind and maybe the offer Sublime Rage had made appealed to him from his fathers side, and it didn't take much to convince him with the isk on offer to take the risk,
after this Sublime Rage assured him, "we will both be very rich."
Finally Qec could return home and be with his family and maybe start one of his own, Clutching a small pouch he had for years hanging from his belt, he accepted the offer and the two pilots put the plan into motion,
" if anything goes wrong " Qec said, you must recover my body, my pouch is for my family, will you do this for me" Ha ha" Sublime replied you miners, seen one to many Asteroids go pop and you think every thing is life and Death" "We will be fine, just drop the container and do your thing I will take care of the rest"
that morning Qec wrote what he thought could be his last letter to his family, always one to dot every I and cross every T he just thought it be best,
the trap was set and the mining laser activated like any other day, 2 hours passed then 3, after cutting comms with Sublime Rage he couldn't tell if things were going to plan or not, having to trash the Ore that was coming in Qec was counting all that isk going out into space, wasted,
BANG! the ship shook like never before and it's shields were down buy half,
two legions popped up on screen and Qec's life flashed before his eyes, then the sun when black, it was Sublime Rage, the Vindicator was a mammoth ship one shot and a massive explosion, Qec had never seen such destruction in his life, most that got this close never lived to tell of it and fear for the first time chilled his whole body, at that moment comms broke" Just one more and we can celebrate my friend" Sublime Rage was always a cocky one but had good reason his skill out did most and his reputation proceeded him, case in point, the reason for the ambush, these guys would never be man enough to take him on in a fair fight, if that really existed in New Eden,
BANG! Qec's ship was hit again, Shields gone, Armour gone, he would not take another hit, then the worst thing that could ever happened did, a Nightmare appeared at long range, even with the last working instruments on Qec's covtor he knew this would be a match for Sublime Rage, Another massive explosion showered Qec's ship in debris, the second legion was down, and the nightmare had unleash a volley on Sublime Rage's ship with a power that was surly to be his end, Sublime Rage came on comms "where the hell did that come from, I need time to recycle my guns or we are dead! " Sublime said in a very Aggressive voice, through the crackled transmition Qec could hear children crying and his heart sank, Sublime Rage had family on board and something had to be done, without thinking Qec steard his ship in between the two larger battle ships, just as he was in the line of fire, Sublime's Guns came back online, but it was to late, the Nightmare tore Qec's ship apart and there was nothing Sublime could do but send that Caldari scum to hell,
4 ships destroyed and Sublime Rage's Vindicator barely able to warp to a safe system, he had giving his word, he scanned for any signs of life but there was none, Qec had given his life for Sublime's family, and his friend recovered his body, at the station, Sublime Rage opened the pouch his friend had Spoken about, shaking his head " this wasn't meant to be this way" I am sorry my friend" he pulled out a small wod of isk and a letter, never having the isk to make it all the way home it seemed a sick joke that one could be shipped in a box for a fraction of the price, and no live transport was allowed, the note read, "please use this isk and send me home, tell my family i love them so very much, I am sorry I never kept my promise"
With that Sublime Rage erased the last part and added, I send to you my friend and comrade who gave his life to safe my family, this is the fortune he promised you, placing in the box the looted isk from the Nightmare and Qec's original cut totaling almost 2 billion isk, he was going home, and his family would forever live well.