Thanks to Anais Castells, Bataav, and Saxon Hawke for participating.

Essence Region – Crux Constellation – Mies System

Camera drones trailed the last wreck as it sped along, caught up in the green glow of the tractor beam. Once in range, salvagers went to work on it, and finally, sensors reported retrieval of the hull’s remaining useful components. The salvagers automatically deactivated, followed a moment later by the tractor beam.

For a few minutes Sakaane watched the wreck as it slowly drifted away from her ship, wondering who the crew had been, how many of them had escaped death today, and whether they’d chosen or been forced into a life of servitude for the Serpentis.

Eighty ships, all of them now like this one.

She set course to return to the agent, relieved to leave the battlefield behind.

The scene was one she’d often seen in recent weeks. Suresha Hawke had gone on sabbatical at the end of August and since then the corp had been subdued, with many pilots keeping mainly to themselves. Noting a lack of suitable agents in the area, Sakaane had taken the opportunity to return to empire space to pick up odd jobs here and there. All but a few tasked her with the destruction of Serpentis assets.

Not that giving the pirates a bloody nose had lost its appeal. There was still much to be done to eliminate the drug-loving criminals from New Eden and Sakaane eagerly looked forward to that day. But lately dismay had crept in, ringing as a discordant undertone in each explosion she caused. Surely, with wave after wave of Core Barons, Corelatis Platoon Leaders and the like disintegrating under the heat of her turrets, they’d wise up and pull back, pack up and leave the area, if for no other reason than to simply stymie the flood of losses she wrought upon them. But no. The Serpentis forces seemed limitless and all too willing to be sacrificed.