The miners of Crew Exports all hooted and hollered as the corporation’s first Orca undocked from the station’s berth. The single most expensive industrial ship model in existence, Crew Exports worked long hours, toiling night and day for more than six months to afford the behemoth, guaranteed to double or even triple their mining output, and thus their revenue. Jalal Kunar shared his corpmates’ enthusiasm, but for wholly different reasons. A member of Crew Exports for less than a week, he had convinced the CEO to invite several of his “close friends” into employment, sans interview, promising that they’d make their mining debut “something to write home about.” Having joined just that morning, the CEO was disappointed they weren’t present for the grand unveiling of their crowning achievement. “Don’t worry,” Jalal radioed over, “they’ll be here soon.”
As the heavy and cumbersome ship aligned itself toward the target asteroid belt where cheap minerals were plentiful and hostile pirates underpowered, the small fleet of mining and transport ships raced ahead, claiming particular rocks as “theirs,” hoping to get the best minerals for themselves. They eagerly began mining, and Jalal with them, though none seemed to notice that instead of the three or four laser drills his ship could fit, he only had one firing.
Soon the mighty Orca arrived, and miners began to offload their cargo into its massive storage, allowing them to mine continuously without needing to stop and unload back at the station, some minutes’ travel away. The CEO gleefully reported on the Orca’s slowly-filling storage, giving Jalal an almost perfect countdown for when it would be full. Long minutes passed as the miners gleefully saw their productivity soar to new heights, until the barge reached three quarters full.
“Hey guys, glad you could join us,” he radioed publicly to the corporation as his friends entered the system. Too far away to see what ships they were flying, the rest of the corporation offered their greetings as well. Their joy turned to confusion however when Jalal turned his attention from the boring rock he had been “mining” for half an hour and began orbiting the powerful but near-defenseless Orca, bringing his other ship modifications online. “Red seven, the Orca is locked.” With the press of a button he had disabled the much larger ship’s warp drive, leaving it stranded in space.
Three bombers entered the asteroid belt, and made damaging strafing runs of the helpless barge. Cries of “what are you doing? Why?” and “kick him from the corp!” were shouted to no avail; ejecting someone from a corporation took twenty-four hours, and in the meantime CONCORD, the interstellar police force, was more than happy to sit idly by and watch a corporation implode. Jalal brought his other weapons to bear on the ship, tearing holes in its fragile hull.
Within minutes the pride of Crew Exports, the prize they had worked so hard for, was destroyed. The CEO, aghast at what had happened, was left defenseless in a small escape capsule, which was also summarily destroyed by the ravaging “friends” that had just this morning been let into the fold. One by one the other mining vessels, the ones which had foolishly stayed to watch the display, were also targeted and blown into dust, pilots and all.
The CEO was despondent, unable to believe that his months of planning and work had been erased so easily. Eventually he managed a simple “why?” as Jalal and friends circled the station’s undock point, waiting for “friendly” ships to undock into their waiting crosshairs.
“Goons never forget, Johnathan. Two years ago you lead a fleet against us. For that you will never again hold anything of value; you will watch it all slip through your fingers,” Jalal promised. The skirmish that Crew Exports’ CEO had lead was a minor one, hardly worth a footnote in the GoonSwarm Federation’s long and sordid history, but a point had to be made, and made with fire.
One by one the members of Crew Exports locked themselves into the station, unwilling to try their hand against the assassins who had so mercilessly destroyed their dreams.
Jalal Kunar, agent of the Goonswarm Intelligence Agency, had completed his first mission.
The Mittani would be pleased.