The room is dimly lit, the main sources of illumination coming from the open hangar balcony doorway at one end and the glow of a holographic projection suspended in the air above a low table at the other. Ugleb sits leaning forwards in his chair studying it. Occasionally he glances impatiently at the clock in the corner of the room’s dimmed view screen. Finally the screen comes to life, bathing the room in its glow as an incoming transmission prompt fills the screen.
“Finally…” Ugleb mutters to himself. “Accept the call.” The screen image shifts as the caller appears on screen. He is a Brutor male with softened features, physically a little overweight, he smiles as he sees Ugleb and gives a casual wave to the camera.
The caller slouches back into a large sofa, putting one leg up on the empty seat next to him as pulls off sunglasses revealing his distinctive pale blue eyes, the same as Ugleb’s own. “Good to see you brother, it’s been awhile.”
“Hello Samett. You’re right, it has. Are you calling about the requisitions I sent you? The ISK was sufficient, I trust.”
Samett waves off the tone of Ugleb’s last remark “Yes it covered the bills, I’ll be forwarding the excess along with the supplies once you’re ready, or will your Caldari friend be taking delivery?”
“Yes, probably. Things just got a little more heated out here so I probably won’t be coming back to the Republic for a little while until we get the situation under control. We’ll see how it goes. Have you heard from sister?”
“No, she hasn’t resurfaced back here yet. Last I heard from her she was still planet-side, but didn’t say where. Couldn’t say if she’s off on some spiritual journey or joined a circus, wherever she is she’s cut herself off from the Capsuleer networks. For all I know she’s still in Catch and a deck down from you right now. What about little brother?”
Ugleb sighs “He went dark again, shortly after sister went off on her travels. He decided to go into deep space and power down. Again. This…obsession of his is getting tiresome, the clan invested heavily in his training so that he could use it, these ‘meditations’ of his get us nowhere. At least he didn’t take the Nidhoggur with him, I suppose.”
“No, that wouldn’t have suited him anyway. He likes the solitude, the ‘Sanctuary is far too big, he’d need to take a crew to maintain it. He probably just took a shuttle, something small and easily hidden. You shouldn’t be too surprised, we always knew Kenjar had his little quirks.”
“There’s ‘quirks’ then there’s duty. The clan needs its Capsuleers in action, not in absentia.” Ugleb sighs. “For now there’s just the two us.” They both pause for a moment, Samett reaching for a drink, waiting for Ugleb to continue. He soon does. “Speaking of actions, have you performed the other task I asked of you?” Ugleb looks up at the screen expectantly.
“Yes brother, I have. That was why I called. I visited the so-called ‘Site One’ a few days ago. It was…interesting.”
Ugleb leans back as he closes down the holographic projection to give Samett his full attention. “Tell me then, what of this Arek’jalaan and their construction project? What have they been gathering materials for?”
“As far as I can tell, Site One is as advertised; a publicly accessible data repository. I have collected hard copy abstracts of each of their research initiatives to date. Somewhat dry reading for the most part unless you have a particular interest in the respective field, and much of it so far is assumptions and untested theories, but they are still in the early phases of collating their data. Site One itself is a pair of outpost stations with surrounding data storage facilities. The site is quite extensively manned and is drawing attention from..interesting parties.”
“You’re talking about the attacks?”
“Yes, it seems the Arek’jalaan Capsuleers are beginning to suspect the hand of Kuvakei behind things. Several of the attackers are alleged to have falsified pilot licences and one of them openly declared support for ‘the Master’ during the attack. Apparently they were attempting to deploy some sort of enhanced nuclear bombs against the facility. They failed, obviously.”
Ugleb’s expression turns to a deep frown at this revelation. “Sansha? Interesting, and troubling. Maybe Kuvakei doesn’t want any further poking around in Anoikis. How he gained access to that Jovian station is still an unknown, as is his ability to manipulate wormholes to direct his incursions. We should continue monitoring the Arek’jalaan project, they might just stumble across something of interest to us.”
Samett considers this a moment then shrugs. “Agreed, brother. I’ll keep an ear open and swing by Eram occasionally to see if anything new develops there. Might even give me an excuse to happen by our Sebiestor brethren there, just to see what’s up in Midular’s camp.”
“Midular, she’s been mercifully quiet lately. Long may she remain so.”
“Still not raising her value above that one ISK mark with you then?” Samett smirks.
“Hardly. Still we’d do well to keep an eye on things there. Eifyr & Co might be mostly Krusual owned but I still wonder about their motives behind supporting Arek’jalaan. Doubtless the Sebiestor are keeping a close watch on things too with Site One on their doorstep.” Ugleb idly taps out a few brief notes on a data pad as he talks. “Anything else coming out of this?”
“Yeah…and I think you’re going to be interested in this bit. You remember that CONCORD warned off any Arek’jalaan Capsuleers from visiting the Monalaz constellation? Well it seems some of them decided to start poking around in there again lately.”
Ugleb pauses and looks back up at the screen. “They found something?” He asks, now with an edge of keen interest to his voice.
“It seems that CONCORD have something called Operation ISHAEKA active in the area. They include a special ops detachment coming out of Tash-Murkon known as the ‘Justicars’, and that this group was recently active in the Stain region operating as an anti-Sansha task force. The rumour coming out of Arek’jalaan is that they might have come across something there that has lead to a very keen interest in Monalaz.”
Ugleb’s holographic projector blooms back into life displaying a star map. As he begins to manipulate the view Samett smiles and waits expectantly. Ugleb’s surprise is clear as he glances back up to lock eyes with his brother’s image. “The EVE Gate”.
Samett nods “The EVE Gate. Sansha is interested in wormholes, Arek’jalaan is interested in wormholes and now CONCORD is taking a renewed interest in the biggest wormhole of them all; the EVE Gate.”
“Amarrian special forces, CONCORD collaboration and Sansha too. I’ll look into it.”
Samett laughs drily “Thought you might. Until next time brother.”
The connection closes, leaving Ugleb to his thoughts, staring at the projected stars before him.
“So, the EVE Gate.” He muses. “It’s been awhile.”