I've been laid up recently. The move to Blood Raider space was not kind.
Since moving here to 1DH-, Cascade has had to form another Peace Treaty, this time with the Blood Raiders. From what we were told, the Sansha were no friends to the Blood Raiders, especially given the recent Incursions where the Blood Raiders operate.
A critical part of our pact with the Raiders was to engage in human sacrifice, and while any enemy of the Raiders would do, a Sansha would "go a long ways towards mending relations".
Before leaving LGK- in the Cyclone, I invited a Sansha Priest over for 'talks concerning my conversion'. We had a meal together while he explained the better part of the roles and responsibilities I would take on as a Collaborator. After listening to his preaching for a few hours, and playing the part of someone not yet sure at first but finally convinced to join the ranks, we made our way through the station towards the Medical Bay.
It was a well thought out plan on my part, I thought.
As we crossed the Hangar to the Medical Bay, I stunned the Priest with a blow to the back of his head. As he began to fall, I caught him, pretending in pretend conversation that he just needed some rest, and played out a scene where he could take a breather aboard my Cyclone while he recovered.
We made into my ship without a hint of trouble.
I clubbed him again, to be certain he was knocked out and then tied him to the metal grating that sufficed for a floor on Matari vessels. With him restrained, I entered the pod, still seated deep in the Cyclone, and jacked in.
"Capsuleer, why are you undocking with a Priest on board?" came a harsh female voice over a communication link.
"Father Hedekai requires transport to the planet three True Power station in TG-, and has asked me to provide this while he talks to me about becoming a Collaborator."
"Capsuleer, power down your ship and prepare to be boarded. An inspection will be carried out immediately."
I didn't power down. I powered up the ship completely, and used the fitted autocannons, already warm from power-up and spinning in anticipation, to shred the docking clamps. Freed from the shackles of the dock, I engaged the microwarpdrive and navigated out of the station, entering warp towards MB4D- immediately.
My ceo was waiting me for me, one jump ahead in his Rapier. I had no doubts that his captive was aboard his ship as well.
We had a thirty-six jump trip to make through two portions of 'hot' space. With my fingers crossed, I began the perilous journey.
We had encountered no resistance all the way into FWST-. CZK- had been taken over by Jagged Alliance, and they were already at work killing off the local Sansha while ignoring us. No one stood in our way, nor made any moves to do so.
I set up my medical clone in FWST-. The Sansha would surely not treat me well were I to wake up in their medical bay. Implants being drilled into my brain would be the least of my worries.
After the change in medical clone locations, I made the final two jumps into 1DH- and docked. A Blood Raider entourage waited for me at the dock, already notified of my presence. The leader of the entourage gave me a hard look, one that turned to muted glee and back as his eyes flickered down to the lethargic priest and back to me.
A terse gesture, and the lackeys filled in behind me, the leader setting the pace at my side towards what looked like a temple in the background.
No words were shared between us.
The priest had struggled valiantly, but in vain. No one person, even a Capsuleer or hyper-augmented Sansha priest can hold his ground against a group of sickeningly eager Blood Raiders.
He had been strapped down to an altar, the old fashioned way. Genuine rope circled his wrists, shoulders, thighs, neck, and ankles. There was enough give in the ropes to let him struggle, but not near enough to allow him to escape. His blood had already caked into the ropes, the bonds tearing at his skin.
The leader cast a look at me, his words writhing past his lips towards me. I was quite certain the man was mad, multiple expressions and emotions flickering across his face faster than I could track. Sane people couldn't hope to mimic such a display.
"Take your time with this one, Capsuleer. Savor his life, his energy, his strength, and devour it. Take his essence and make it your own." His fingernails dragged against the priest's chest, gouging out a section of skin and letting blood spill from the wound. He gently mashed a finger into the priest's wound, getting his finger bloody before raising the finger to his lips to suck the blood off.
"But don't take too long, or I might come for him myself." He pulled out a dagger, blade simple but with an ornate handle, with a groove for collecting blood on the blade. He smirked slightly, raising the dagger above his head, then his face contorted into an expression of righteous anger as he slammed the blade through the left forearm of the sacrifice. Confusion crossed the leader's face for a split second, the priest giving out a scream of pain, and then malicious glee returned to those cruel Blood Raider features.
The leader looked back at me, then walked out of the temple while mumbling vehemently to himself.
Computer: pause, no, terminate recording.