Part 19 – Supply Demanded.
Day 05 (I having slept through 04.)
What I woke up to was hell of the first degree.
Or rather, what happened as I felt my body locked away in a void of painful waiting as Downtime Day passed. In the darkness, something shone to me though. I heard the door unlock with a wonderful click, and I walked towards the faint outlines of salvation. I drew nearer to something that seemed to glow at the door, and reached out for the unlocked knob…
…only to find it red-hot. I drew my hand back with a girlish squeal that I am not proud of. Mumbling, I wondered what the glowing object was. My eyes fell upon it and my heart sank.
You are now 715th in Queue for escaping. Please try again later.
Foiled again! I waited with irritation as it ticked down. Previously, I had seen queues before, but no more than ten or twenty, that passed within seconds. This one lasted an eternity.
It was almost seven whole minutes.
I groaned, wishing there was some ‘forum’ I could fill with inane and loud gripes of my most grievous wronging by this terrible queue. I would rant with barely comprehensible shouting on for hours about how everything was stacked against me, and how injustice was everywhere. As no such awful place existed due to basic human decency, I simply waited and opened the door after those seven minutes, before entering the market.
I was in Hell again, it seems.
People everywhere were running around, grabbing fistfuls of Blueprints for sale! Apparently, this was the ‘Black Friday’ sale, famous post-holiday shopping spree… only with price gouging and no government regulation, as is traditional for Empire City.
“Drakes! Get your new Drake here! Only at eight hundred percent base cost!” shouted one vendor. I stared terribly at the crowds gathering before one of the new SUVs produced that day, and the bidding. Oh, the horrible, horrible bidding. One lucky man seem to have paid quite a sum for the priviledge of riding this new vehicle in the end. I watched him start off, driving while jealous crowds looked on. He drove towards the Onramp to a 0.4 security part of town. I distinctively heard one very loud explosion some time later. It seems the universe has at least some sense of irony.
I waddled down through the crowd to get to my still undriven Crow, when another man shouted in my face. “Rig up your ship, sirrah?” asked this bum, who clearly had not bathed in weeks. He was a scavenger, a poor type who ran around stripping car wrecks for parts, and offering to ‘rig’ up beautiful, virgin cars. I brushed him off as well. It seems as if the world had turned upside down in those twenty four hours.
My head spun. Was everywhere turning into a nuthouse? Had the insanity spread out here too, to the outer edges of Empire City, before the mad countryside? This was a continuing trend. I felt civilization slipping away to whatever this was. I knew true mission then, as I prepared to drive away from this awful place, to establish a new power base in lawless 0.0…
I would destroy the source.
I would destroy Jita.
(to be continued...)