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Eve Online - Blazing

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7

"You should know I am not a bad man, merely a wronged one... And methodical in regards of getting back. 
How is it wrong to crave a mutual understanding?" 
- Veerex Daemian, exerp from autobiography. 

When Deetex awoke he wasn't sure he was actually alive. 
Severely dazed and confused he could not find the confines of his surroundings. 
He could see nothing but darkness... Hear nothing but the sound. Of his own breath, and even that started fading. 
He had no reference to his environment, there didn't seem to be any gravity. 
Far from the bounds of his awareness he thought he could feel his joints aching, but could not move them. 
He tried to turn his head, not sure if he felt his muscles respond or not, never seeing any change in the black before his eyes. 

He tried to scream, expressing his voice only made a tickle of sound against the darkness, fading quickly. 
As his throat burned he came a little more aware of his own thoughts. 
'sensory deprivation' he concluded. 
He started remembering his last few moments, in one life a burning husk on a destroyed ship, another life newly awakend yet struck down... 
'Struk down... Epion!' 
Epion had something to do with this whole mess, had he betrayed Deetex' trust? 
'no...' he thought. 
'he can't have.' 
He waited, counting seconds... Then minutes. 
He counted what felt like hours or days... He counted. 
Did he hear something? 
He silenced his thoughts, trying to focus. 


'Who's there?' he asked, not sure if he actually said the words or merely thought them. 
Had he spoken, would anyone have heard of understood? 
He thought he felt something moving on his head, something being pulled off. 
With a sudden flood of input, all his nerves screamed in agony, as his vision restored, his arms reattached, his aching throat ablaze. 
He felt extremely nauseous as gravity resumed. 
After his eyes and ears readjusted for the sudden appearance of an environment, he saw he was in the middle of a large circular room. 
His arms felt like lead, joints stretched out, hanging back as his body leaned forward. 

"Hello Deetex." a voice thundered from beside him. 
Deetex turned his head slowly, every muscle sending waves of agony through his body. 
He began to see a silhouette, a man's unmissable figure, the cropped amber hair and familiar grey eyes,the familiar jawline and hollow gaze. 

"I hope our accommodations for you weren't all to demanding?" 
Deetex could not respond, he could not find the words nor will to say anything. 
Instead he just glared at his rival. 

"you..." was all he could mutter after a long pause. 

Veerex smiled, as he always did whenever reaffirming his grip on the situation. 
"Yes, me... You were perhaps expecting to see your friends and family, your parent, dear wife maybe?" 
He took a few steps closer, leaning forward within an arms length. 
"Me, Deetex, your sole rival, equal and opposite, the only one you had ever considered your brother and partner... Me..." 

"What do you want..." Deetex muttered with a raspy voice. 

"Is that a serious question, really?" 
Veerex waited for a reply, watching until grown inpatient. 
"What I want, old friend, is you... Dead..." 
Veerex started walking around, keeping himself in front of his prisoner at all times. 
"What I want is to bring about your complete annihilation, to utterly destroy you, your memory, your legacy... What I want..." 
He paused. 
"... Is to remove you in full from this universe." 

He marched over to a medical dolly, the top covered by a bit of cloth obscuring the tabletop. 
As he reached the table he tossed a bit of oily film on it, the cover he pulled off of Deetex. 
"Hmm, submission cloth, an Amarrian invention, used to subjugate their more... Veral slaves, I'm told it's actually quite a bit of torture when applied right, with the proper external stimulants..." 
He sighed, pulling the tablecloth and tossing it on the floor. 
"You know, if it were up to me I'd shoot you right now, burn your skin off with a plasma torch and reprocess your bones into a waste reclamation efficiency rig , but alas..." 
Suddenly a scent intruded Deetex' senses, a very familiar one. 
"alas my partner won't have any of such business." 
'It can't be...' Deetex thought. 
"She wants something else entirely." Veerex continued. 
'She... No...' 

Veerex saw the painful glaze in Deetex' eyes, his grin growing ever wider. 
"Deetex, please extend a warm and overdue welcome..." 
Deetex felt a finger sliding over his arm, noticed someone else coming into view. 
"... To your trophy wife, Calisto..." 
"Hello my love." a female voice lilted. 

She took a stand right next to Veerex, with every brush of contact between the two sending shivers and agony through Deetex' mind. 
"Such a lovely woman, isn't she?" 
He stroked her cheek. 
"Did you know she was a capsuleer as well? I'm quite honestly surprised myself, how she, at the very last moment, plugged herself into her escape pod to stay alive." 
Deetex winced as the memory came flooding back. 
"Four years ago... Remember that day, Deetex, when you left her to die?!" 

"I... Didn't...." Deetex tried to mutter. 
Veerex continued. 
"When my men found her, she was alone, had no memory of her immediate past, and possibly worse, especially to a Caldarian, had neither home nor income." 
He took a step back. 
"I took her under my wing, taught her the basics again, and had her enrolled in the Caldari navy... Three years of service did her good, don't you think?" 

Deetex could only stare desperately as his wife, then glared at his captor. 
"Damnit Veerex, you let her go, now!" Deetex yelled, his voice echoing off the walls. 
"Let her go? Very well, Calisto?" 
But Calisto didn't move, fixating her gaze on Deetex, then on the surgical table. 

"As you can see, she has a somewhat different idea of her current predicament, and on that note..." 
Veerex pulled something out of his pocket, a tiny remote control. 
As he pressed a button on it, a monitor slid down from the ceiling, holding a few meters away from Deetex, close enough for him to see. 

The monitor flickered to life, showing a large space battle in progress, highlights denoting ship classes and affiliation, most particular an Erebus class titan. 

"About an hour ago the Sardaukar troops managed to organize just enough of a force to break through preliminary camps, and have gathered at the system of Niarya, they are fighting what they believe to be equal odds." Veerex narrated. 
Deetex watched in horror as he bore witness to his friends and allies taking hit after hit, doing enough damage themselves but not suppressing enough. 
"Now watch, as phase two is put in motion." Veerex continued. 
The monitor zoomed in, showing three interceptors flying at dangerous speeds from the heart of the enemy formation, straight to the Erebus class. 
"Aaaaand here we go, your commanding officer has ordered interdiction bubbles to be deployed, predictably expecting a hot-drop." 
Veerex spun around. 
"Any fleet command would, naturally, but what he fails to realize..." 
He turned to watch the monitor again. 
"Pay attention now, this is my favorite part... Boom!" 
He waved a fist in the air as he emphasized the scene. 
"Here comes your wife's combat wing, right through the bubbles, right into the heart of the hated Sardaukar." 

The monitor showed the eight ships as they quickly maneuvered and unleashed volley after volley of missiles. 
In awe, Deetex stared... Each missile passed almost right through any shield they encountered, exploding with forces devastating enough to reduce even the mighty titan to a burning husk. 
"And so phase two completes, phase three... Well, you won't live to witness it anyway..." 

Veerex pressed his remote again, the monitor rose back to its compartment on the ceiling. 
"Now you have seen what could have been, had you stayed with us... What we would have been capable of." 

"Weapons of war and machines of death... Never our intention to become tyrannical..." Deetex gasped, he had held his breath for the duration of the entire video playback. 

"Don't sell yourself short, you were more of a warrior then I ever was... Need a reminder of just what you did four years ago?" 
Veerex immediately stopt speaking, and turned to face both Deetex and Calisto. 
"But there is no need to waddle in the past... What happened has happened, no second chances." 

Veerex didn't continue, standing still and seemingly contemplating something. 
"I'll leave you two lovebirds alone now, I'm sure you're just dying to learn what skills Calisto picked up during her time with the Caldari navy." 
"where are you going?" Calisto asked. 

"I have paperwork to do, our new rising empire needs administrators, and I need recruits." 
He left the room, pausing only a moment in the doorstep, looking back once more at his prisoner. 

"Be strong old friend." he whispered, chuckling as he faded from sight. 

Deetex dropped his head, surrendering to the strain on his neck, as Calisto made her way to the table. 
She slid her hand over the various utensils scattered on the tabletop, resting her palm of the hilt of a long-bladed knife. 
As she picked it up, the blade energized, rippling faintly along the rim. 
She swung the blade up over her head, resting the blunt side of the blade on her shoulders as she slowly approached Deetex. 

"Please don't..." Deetex pleaded softly. 
"Don't what?" Calisto asked, as she stepped behind him. 
She placed the blade lengthwise on Deetex' arm. 
"Please don't do this." he repeated. 
"Don't do what, this?" she teased, as she slowly drew the blade across his arm, drawing a thin bloody gash. 
Deetex jolted, the pain receptors in his arm slow to respond. 
"Or this?" she continued, dragging the blade across the his other arm's underside. 
Deetex moaned and gasped, unable to move away or block out the pain. 
He was severely doubting his odds, not sure if anything could be done to save him or the Sardaukar. 
Calisto paused, walking back to the table. 
From it she retrieved a small injection syringe. 
"I never could figure out why you just left me there..." she started, as she made her way back to him. 
"But then I suppose a mercenary has other priorities than loved ones." 

Deetex looked at the syringe, he recognized the device as Caldarian made, but couldn't tell what was in it. 
"What's that." he gasped. 

"A little cocktail to keep you awake with." she replied, testing the injection probe. 
Without hesitation she placed the probe on his neck and pressed, the apparatus hissing as it emptied it's content in his bloodstream. 

"There, all set." 
She exchanged the expended syringe for the energy blade again, making her way to his back, again. 

Gently she placed her hand on his shoulder, the touch of her skin burning his cuts. 

"I did come back for you." He muttered. 
"I came back with ever Sardaukar soldier I could find..." 

he sensed Calisto hesitating. 

"We left that starsystem a burning ruin in search of you..." he continued. 

Calisto's grip tensed. 

"Too... late..." she hissed, as she swept the blade along his back, tearing his garment and drawing a streak of blood. 

Deetex howled as he fruitlessly recoiled, still bound by his wrists. 

He tried desperately to will himself to sleep or unconscious or even dead, to slip comfortably into blissful limbo, but was hampered by the drugs she injected him with. 

Was it because of the drugs or the sheering pain that he could not stop his eyes from sheding tears? 

She continued to work on him as he screamed and cried, his shirt a bloody tathered mess on the floor. 

She ignored his outcries, as she continued... 


Veerex made his way to his office with haste, eager to start setting the stage for his new galactic empire. 
Everything was going so well, all his carefully laid plans coming to fruition. 
So locked in thought he barely noticed a young clerk trying to grab his attention, until she took hold of his arm. 

Shaken out of his concentration, Veerex frowned as he looked at her. 
"Yes, what is it?" 

"There's a man in your office demanding to see you, he claims he has the nessesary paperwork..." 

Veerex considered the choice of words she relayed, then smiled. 

"Ah excellent, thank you." 

As he entered the office he could not immediatly make out where his guest was seated, but expected to find out soon enough. 

"There's only one man with the balls to demand admittance yet the brain to use code phrases... " 
He pushed a large chair around, swinging it and the man in it into view. 
"isn't that right, mr Celdom?" 

Epion glowered at the smiling man, giving only a snort in confirmation. 
"A Merc's occupational hazard I suppose, everything I do is scrutinized." he stated. 

"Quite right..." Veerex replied, taking a seat behind his desk and shifting a few stacks of data sheets. 

"I take it you had no trouble ridding yourself of our escort?" 

"Nah, that Tengu you send over dusted my tracks, but that's all." 

Veerex steepled his fingers and started leaning on the desk. 

"Excellent, excellent..." 

For a few seconds neither of them spoke, untill Epion cleared his throat. 

"'Bout my payment." 

"Ah yes, about that." Veerex started, as he relaxed and leaned back in his chair. 

"I'll wire the funds to your account right away, but how would you feel about those figures as annual?" 

Epion frowned, not sure what to make of that. 

"I think you and I can arrange a mutually beneficial service agreement, you're an effective asset and experienced pilot, one I can make some excellent usage of." 

"wait, lemme get this straight, you want to hire me as employee?" 

Veerex tapped a few keys on a control board in his desk. 
"There, the outstanding payment has been fulfilled, including a small incentive to help you in this future determining decision... How does 20% sound?" 

Epion's eyes went wide, he already accepted a hefty payment in advance, more money than he had ever made as privateer, and now the payment in full was padded even more. 
"I'll... Need a moment to consider this." 

Veerex smiled again, convinced he had this former Minmatar slave in his pocket. 
"Of course, but don't wait too long, there are other guns for hire out there, taking less and giving just as much..." 

Epion waved a hand, silencing Veerex, as he peered from underneath his pitch-black spectacles. 
"One more thing... I want to see Deetex." 

In an instant Veex stopped smiling, slowly lifting one eyebrow. 
This was unexpected. 
"Oh, why so?" 

"See it as a bonus package, you're having his wife cut him up, you want to hurt him, that much is clear... Whadda ya think it'll do to him when he realizes who sold him out?" 

Veerex ponder the possibilities, considering all his options until reaching a conclusion. 

"I like your style, mr Celdom, I like it very much... Do you need someone to take you there?" 

Epion got up and straightened his coat. 
"I know the way, three decks below, right?" 

Veerex smiled again, pointing his open hand to the door, dismissing him. 

As Epion made his way across the massive station, he found himself contemplating the offer. 
Veerex was throwing around money like it was tritanium, there was no way he could make that much on his own. 
But still, the funds HAD transferred, the whole sum, including the bonus. 
He could live off of this for a long time, maybe even get his hands on a dreadnought after all, fitted and crewed in full and subcapitol escorts to match. 

He entertained the thought of commanding a fleet of ships, going where and doing what was needed, secure in his job. 
Before he know it he reached the torture chamber, where he found Calisto rummaging through the various tools that laid scattered over the tabletop. 

She looked up as Epion entered the room, her expression unchanging. 
"What are you doing here?" she asked, picking up a small scalpel. 

"Veerex wants ya in his office." He replied. 

"Something about paperwork, seemed to be in a hurry." 

She sighed, slowly putting the small knife back. 
She took a moment to stare at her victim, her bionic eye focussing on various wounds. 

Quickly she made her way to the door, brushing past him. 
"Watch him for me." she ordered. 

Epion watched as the woman left,making sure they were alone. 

He made his way over to the table and swept a few pieces away, looking for a very specific item. 

Deetex moaned, he hadn't realised he had a new guest. 
Looking up, he saw the unmistakable clothes of his friend. 
For a brief moment he felt a glimmer of hope, but saw Epion pick up a small bonesaw... all hope subsided and dread settled in again. 

"You too... Epion?" 

He didn't reply, taking the bonesaw to one of Deetex' wrists. 
Deetex closed his eyes, trying to brace himself for what was to happen next... but the cut never came. 
He felt the blunt side of the small saw pressing against his wrist, harmlessly sliding back and forth as Epion put the tool to use. 

Within seconds the shackle snapped loose, Epion moved quickly to catch Deetex halfway his fall. 
"Woah, not so fast you, you're gonna need to gimme a hand for the next one." 

"Veerex has her, Epp... he has Calisto." Deetex began to mutter. 

"Yeah, I know." Epion replied, as he started on the second shackle. 

"He's finally done it, he has a weapon to use against me that I can not deflect..." 

Epion stopped for a minute, flexing his fingers and continued. 

"Don't worry about it, you'll be fine." 

"Now the sardaukar are dying because of me..." 

Epion shook Deetex' mildly. 

"Alright Dramaqueen, enough with that, Veerex may have the smarts about him, but we have a few more trumpcards." 
As he finished talking, the shackle snapped as well. 

Deetex slumped, severely weakened and without hope. 
Epion tried to heave him onto his shoulder. 
"Com'on man, help me out here" Epion hissed, trying to hold Deetex' bloodsoaked and torn body up. 
"On... Your... FEET!" 
Slowly Deetex placed a firm foot on the ground, resting his weight on it. 

His tormented body screamed for rest, countered only by the drugs she had injected him with earlier, keeping him from loosing consciousness altogether.. but barely. 

Slowly the two men found a balance, and started to make their way to the corridor. 

Calisto, flushed and angered, entered Veerex' office. 
Surprised, he looked up at her from his piles of sheets and data reels. 

"Calisto, what a pleasant surprise, finished already have you?" 

She stopped mid-stride, crossing her arms and cocked her head slightly sideways. 

"You summoned me?" she inquired. 

Veerex put his scribe down and blinked his gray eyes. 

"No, I didn't, why would you..." Then he realized it. 


He got up and headed to a communication terminal a few meters away. 
A horrid oversight in his office's design, but alas one that prevailed. 

"Security to Interrogation one!" He bellowed. 
He made his way to the office doorway, grabbing hold of Calisto's arm and dragging her alone. 
"Come one!" 

When he finally made it to the torture room, flanked by guards, they found the ward completely deserted, the bonesaw casually tossed away and the shackles disposed off. 

Veerex moved to the bloody rags and picked them up with one hand, carefully choosing a spot of fabric with no blood on it. 

His normally pleasant and calm face was a storm with anger, seething that he had been betrayed like that... his gesture of good faith slapped down like that. 

He turned to face Calisto, fixating his gaze on her. 

"Find them." 

He tossed the rags down and headed to the exit. 

"Where are you going?" Calisto asked. 

"The docking bay, he can't escape with my fleet blocking the exit." 

Epion and Deetex were making their way through the corridors with as much haste as Deetex' broken body would allow, pausing every few dozen meters for him to take a breather. 

Epion took a few steps ahead, and peered around a corner. 

"Two guards outside the bay..." he muttered. 
He had no weapons on him, no means of defence or attack... 
"Gonna have to try something." 

Deetex was leaning against the wall, catching his breath. 

"Wait here... ten minutes, then head on in, think ya can make it?" Epion asked his friend. 

Deetex exhailed a deep sigh, then straightened a bit, looking as ready as he could. 

Epion straightened his coat, noting a few smears of dried blood on his thigh. 
With any luck they wouldn't notice. 
Casually he walked around the corner, greeting the guards as though nothing was wrong. 

"hey, what's up?" he asked one of them. 

"Orders from mr Daemian, one of his prisoners might've escape..." 

"Yeah yeah I know..." Epion interupted. 
"And you're waiting here because... what, your comm units busted or something?" 

"Excuse me?" the other guard questioned. 

Epion reached for his earpiece, tapping a few buttons on his own comm unit, pretending to receive a message. 

"Yes sir?" 
The two guards looked at eachother uneasily. 

"No sir, found several more, however he did it, he's goo..." 

He paused for effect, then continued the articial debate. 
"No sir, I understand... yes sir..." 

He turned away from the two guards, feigning concern. 

"Are you sure that's wise, Sir?" 
He paused again, trying very hard not to laugh, as he noticed the guards were actually getting nervous. 

"My personal recommendation? Send them to sector 7 to aid the rest of the search teams... Right away sir." 

He pulled off his earpiece and pointed it towards the two guards. 

"Veerex wants to talk to ya..." 

"Uh, any chance you never saw us?" one of the guards whispered. 

Epion looked at him, then after a minute clasped the communit tighter, preventing it from picking up on the following conversation. 

"Get to Sector 7 and at least try to look like you're doing your jobs." he replied. 
He pressed the earpiece back. 

"Sorry sir, false alarm, these guys were on previous assignment... Right away sir." 

He pressed a button, showing the guards the fake conversation had ended. 

As he looked onto them, he shrugged. 

"Well go, get moving!" 

The duped guards thanked him as they left, taking the alternative route through the docking bay and heading to probably one of the most distant areas of the station. 

Epion waited for a minute before entering the Docking bay area himself, making sure he was ready for another conn like that if needed. 

he was pleasantly surprised to see the bay area almost completely deserted, except for a few dockworkers in the distance, and the many ships moored. 

This time he actually activated his earpiece, contacting his crew aboard the Atlas. 

"This is Celdom, evac plan is put in motion, prep for undock..." 

"Really, if you wanted to leave, you should have just said so." a voice behind him sounded. 

Epion released his earpiece, just as his officer reported ready. 

Slowly he turned around to face Veerex and what amounted to a wall of soldiers, each and every single one of them pointing a rifle at Epion. 

"Where is he?" Veerex asked. 

Epion feigned confusion. 


"You know damned well who, Deetex, where is Deetex?!" 

Epion shrugged, casually looking around and over the railing of the loading platform. 

"Not here, checked your torture room yet?" 

Veerex scowled, clearly not in the mood for any of this. 
His precision plans were crumbling unless he found his rival, and this... fool was in his way. 

"Shoot him." he ordered. 

As the soldiers got ready Epion raised a hand. 

"Now before you do that..." he started. 
Veerex ordered a hold. 

"You know my ship is crewed and right overhead, right?" 

"If you have a point I suggest addressing it, now." 

"Well, it just so happens that my ship carries a set of Smartbombs, two of them, thermal and Kinetic... as we speak my crew is setting them for an overheated detonation should anything happen to me." 

"Impossible, what could two smartbombs possibly mean to a station, you're out of your league, boy." 

"You would think, but despite the impregnable shields and inpenetrable armor, the interior of a station just like this is just plain old Tritanium, nothing fancy, nothing special..." 

Epion took a step back, almost standing on the loading cart that waited patiently. 

"two overheated smartbombs... detonated together in a compressed chamber like this one, just imagine what that would do." 

"But the flaw in your logic is obvious" Veerex retorted. 

"If your crew detonates that, you'll be killed too." 

Epion sighed, looking wistfully to the massive hull of the Atlas. 

"Ya know, for a moment back there I was almost tempted to accept your offer, to damn it all to hell and accept some stability in my life..." 

He took off his glasses, and stared Veerex straight in his eyes. 

"I was that close... but you know what the problem is... I would've been hired under false pretense." 

"What do you mean?" Veerex asked, both curious and inpatient now. 

"I'm not just Deetex' friend, I'm his forever servant, he saved my life more times than I'd care to count, it it means giving up my life to get to achieve his goals, be it a mission or the removal of one such as you, I'd happily volunteer." 

He it his sunglasses back on. 

"And now that I have your undiverted attention...." he continued 
"I'd like to also point out that my ship's 1400's are currently trained on the lot of you, loaded with sabot rounds not to put myself or my master in jeopardy, obviously, so I kindly request you all toss your weapons over the rails... Now" 

The soldiers hesitated for a moment, then complied. 
Veerex was steaming, barely containing his rage. 
"You... Impudent...SLAVE!" he yelled, making Epion grin. 
"If you think you will get but a hundred meters from this station you are sorely mistaken, I will have a fleet of Dreadnoughts waiting for you, I'll reduce your tiny ship to scrapmetal, I'll see to it your entire family is put to death, I'll..." 

He stopped as Epion started laughing. 
He stopped for a breath, then continued, genuinely enjoying the situation. 
"Boy have I got a surprise for you..." he finally managed to express, wiping a tear from his eyes. 
"high-powered slot number seven, I've got three words for ya." 
He snickered some more, then tried to straighten. 
"Portable... Cyno... Jammer" 

Veerex' mouth fell open. 
"So those dreads of yours can just sit and wallow, we'll just stand here and wait for Deetex to show up." 
Epion crossed his arms, chuckling as he watched the indecision play in Veerex' face. 

Deetex waited patiently for his alotted time to pass, listening in as Epion had worked his way past the incompetent guards. 
'Good old Epp, should never have doubted you...' he thought to himself. 

Six minutes passed... Or was it 9? 
He decided he waited long enough, and tried to get up. 
Just as he started to walk, he stopped again, that ever familiar scent filling his nostrils again. 
He heard a faint click in the distance. 
"You never could sneak up on me..." he muttered, slowly turning his head a bit. 

On the far end of the corridor stood Calisto, her arm raised, aiming a pistol at him. 
She didn't flinch, didn't move, and didn't speak a word. 
"Of the billions of lives I've taken over the years... I'd give you only one in return... Only one in exchange for a second chance with you..." he continued. 

Did he imagine her grip in the gun slipping? 
Did he see a slight tremor in her stance? 
"I know you, Calisto, and I know you wouldn't have stopped to learn the truth... Ask yourself one thing in ernest...." 

He waited, she didn't respond. 

"Would I really have abandoned you? Could I have?" 

Nothing seemed to happen for a long time, Calisto ever frozen, where Deetex fidgeted to rebalance his aching body. 

Staring through her bionic eye, she looked at him, until at long last a single tear rolled down her cheek, as she closed her eyes and lowered her weapon. 

It was all the reply he could've hoped for, Deetex made his way to the loading bay door. 
Just before opening the hatch, he turned back to look at her. 
"I will come back for you... I promise." 

When he entered the loading platform, he was not at all surprised to see a confident Epion Celdom and a severely enraged Veerex Daemian facing off. 
"There you are." Epion commented, standing upright again. 

Veerex didn't speak a word... His soldiers, unarmed and impotent looking confused. 

"Let's get out of here, alright?" Epion added, after Deetex made his way to the loading cart without a word. 
"Ah, before you go..." Veerex started, just as Epion secured the cart's protective railing. 
"If I can't have my way with my primary, just imagine what awaits my secondary... Just think about your lovely wife there, Deetex..." 

Deetex replied with a quote he had learned to heart decades ago. 
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn..." 

"What does that mean?" Veerex asked. 
"What do you mean, secondary?" Calisto asked. 
She had slipped behind Veerex without being noticed, and was looking at Veerex with a dangerously curious look, poorly concealed behind a mask of authority. 
Epion didn't waste time, using the sudden intrusion to trigger the cart's automated loading pattern. 

Veerex could only look as the cart hovered away, still under threat of those smartbombs and those massive artillery cannons. 
Finally he realized a critical flaw in their escape plan, and she was staring at him with murderous patience. 
"Quick, to my ship!" he ordered Calisto and a handful of his soldiers. 

"But, the guns, sir!" 

"Epion won't fire on Calisto, Deetex won't allow it, move it you jarheads, MOVE!" 

As Epion and Deetex made it to the Atlas' cargobay gantry there was already an army of crew members and medics awaiting them. 
They took Deetex to a stretcher as Epion used is comm again to order the immediate departure. 

"Severe lacerations, arrhythmic pulse, extensive neural depletion, this man is a mess!" one of the medics reported. 
"pulse is fading, we're losing him!" another yelled. 
Calisto's mysterious drug was wearing out, sending Deetex writhing and compulsive. 
The medics applied healing patches and injected him with a sedative... But with the drug burned out, Deetex was already slipping into unconsciousness. 
At long last he found his abyss, slipping painfully into the dark recesses of his own mind. 

He was momentarily aware as the ship shook violently, barely making out his friend and savior as he jolted for a communication terminal. 

"This is Celdom, what's going on up there!" Epion yelled, addressing his bridge crew. 
"We're taking fire sir, a Rohk class battleship undocked and has opened up on us." 

"Aquire lock and return fire!" he ordered, not sure what the underarmed Atlas could do against such an advanced ship as a Rohk. 
Epion was needed on the bridge, but could not bring himself to leave his friend behind... Something told him he needed to stay at his side. 

"Mr Celdom." Veerex' voice sounded over the intercom. 
He was broadcasting system wide on an unencrypted channel, every ship in the system would pick up his voice. 
"I told you you wouldn't make it out of here alive..." 
"I'd give some hard money to anyone who can shut him up..." Epion returned over the same channel. 
"You are in my optimals, sir... And our interdiction fields will keep you there for as long as it takes." 

Epion took a long moment to respond, staring as his friend as his vitals kept dropping. 
After a long pause he send his broadcast out. 
"Hard money, or paper if it works!" 
It was just the code phase he needed, a third voice interjected on the channel. 
"Surprise, asshole!" 
From the shadowed underside of the station, hidden behind the Rohk in its engine wake, a lone Talos class battlecruiser emerged, firing all of its sixteen heavy plasma turrets at the Rohk's poorly shielded aft. 
Streaking past the Rohk and making a somersault it repositioned itself between the incoming Rohk and the escaping Atlas... It's guns firing again. 

"Identify yourself!" Veerex demanded. 

"Name's Hasarith Seraphine Harkonnen, Sardaukar terrortroop military adjutant and captain of the ISS Cinderfall!" 
Hasarith let the guns of his ship fire once again as he shot past the Rohk, straving it and keeping below the Rohk's railgun tracking systems while dealing considerable damage. 

At the sound of the voice of Hasarith, Deetex' vitals started improving slightly, but it was enough for the medics to take notice. 

"Sir, is there any kind of bloodtie between this Hasarith figure and General Seraphine?" one of the medics asked. 
Epion suppressed an urge to laugh, those two had their family so obscured from the pages of history only a very few people indeed know the whole story. 
"They're brothers, why?" he replied. 

"He's lost a lot of blood and his nervous system is shot, so much damage was done to him I doubt he'll make it on his own, maybe with a bone-marrow transfusion and nervous induction, he could have a chance of recovery... Just how closely related are they?" the medic continued. 

Half it it didn't make sense to Epion, but he realized this was precision work and needed solid answers. 
He reached for the comm terminal, and opened a private channel to Hasarith's ship. 
"Has, quite yer playing and dock with the Atlas, we need ya here." 
Hasarith was quick to reply. 
"Aww, but I'm having too much fun." 

His ship went in for another straving run, it's massive gun turrets already charging the next volley. 

"Damnit Has, it's Deetex, we need ya here!" 

Hasarith stopped his ship abruptly. 
He was so close to destroying Veerex' ship, he didn't want to stop... But family ties took precedence. 

Still, he had done considerable damage to he Rohk, and saw it was no longer in pursuit. 
"Alright, I'm coming aboard." 

Within seconds Hasarith podded over and found his way to the make-shift medical facility. 
The moment he stepped in Epion singled him out, causing several of the medics to rush him with scanners and sample probes in hand. 
Peering through the crowd, Hasarith saw his brother lying on the stretcher, various health monitoring devices beeping, pinging and reading... None of them looked reassuring. 

One of the attendees waved a scanner device in front of Hasarith's face, he slapped it away and forced himself through the clutter to his brother. 
"Deetex!" he yelled. 
Only then did he notice the extent of his injuries, he slapped his hand over his mouth in awe. 
"My god, what happened?" 
Epion came next to him. 
"Veerex is what happened, sick bastard almost had him killed." 

The medics came swarming back after recovering from Hasarith's manhandling. 
"Sir, we need to take samples, mr Celdom says you might be a suitable match for blood and bone marrow transfusions, are you related?" 

Hasarith, not afraid of a few needles, rolled up his sleeve and extended his arm. 
"I'm the closest thing there is to a clone, take whatever you need." 
The medical staff swiped all sorts of devices and probes over his arm, inserting two, three... Four needles in his arm at once, working in a hurry without error. 
A small analytical machine finally finished the blood comparison, shocking the attending medics. 
"This can't be right, is this thing calibrated properly?" 
Hasarith knew exactly what was coming next, first they'd suspect the samples were mixed up, then they would think the machine's own probe was contaminated... Maybe even blame faulty comparison checks... He's heard it all before. 
"Sir, what exactly IS your relationship with general Seraphine?" one of the medics asked. 

'This is new.' Hasarith thought, actually amused to hear something else for a change. 

"Deetex and I are... well if I'll say it I'd better say it, he and I are the same man, a few years back something went slightly wrong during a scientific experiment and I... We were both activated as separate clones. Owing to the experiment, he got the mild-mannered and witty parts of our personality, I ended up with more aggression, better looks and a quicker temper, our genetics should be identical." 
The questioning medic looked at Hasarith, then turned to face Epion. 
"And you can confirm this, sir?" 
Epion nodded, which more then enough for the medical staff to get to work. 
They rested Hasarith on a stretcher next to Deetex, placing several electrodes and pads on various parts of his body. 
A large machine was rolled between them. 
"This will first map General Seraphine's nervous system, and will then amplify it using your synapses... Based on that we can map the regions of the most extreme damage and repair it using your genetics." 

Another clerk stepped up. 
"You might feel a tingly sensation, try not to move too much." 
"Wait, how tingly is this going to get, exactly?" Hasarith asked. 
"You'll be fine, I'm heading to the bridge, we should be clearing the interdiction field soon, which means in all likelyhood we'll be in for another firefight." 

Hasarith lifted his head to see his friend departing. 
"My crew has ordered to defend this ship no matter what or where, so just be sure to inform them beforehand if you're planning anything thrilling, okay?" 
His head was pressed down by a medic, after which he jerked it right back up again. 
"And try to keep this tub steady!" he added before being pressed down again.