"God, Jamyl, the Amarr, glory to them." the portly laborer thought, and thought. He thought the statement over several times before, in a quiver, pinched the bridge of his nose! He shot a curse out his mouth in an exasperated jet of air, "damn." He collected himself, and clearing his throat looked towards a viewing port installed meters away from a broad and translucent floating panel that watched up at his chest from an angle. It, in a faded blue hue, illuminated onto his face, lines of schematics. It was the rotated glow of a border gate that gleamed and stuck to one side of his head, no more warped than the traditional crescents shown in most crafts of Amarr design. Beside the schematic, on a portion of the holoprojector, which did not show on the laborer's face, was the complete status of five innocent looking drones not fit for combat. Running from top to bottom along the display feature, was a bar to scroll through a list of the workers, each marked on a status indicator as "busy." Their activities caused blasts of light to enter the room from the view port in the shape of incredible spires. The drones fused hulking segments to the border gate, segments that formerly floated just a kilometer away from the man's location. Everything was functioning as expected, and the system readings were nominal, and from them, the laborer suffered no discomfort. Each of the hundred simple workers moved as designed. Obedient, they would hurry in silent pursuit to their next mission. The assemblage at this portion of the border gate was busy work—an incredible undertaking that went against God, Jamyl, and the Amarr, or so the laborer resumed to debate with himself.
The entire construct ran at a capacity near completion. Freighters for a month had been surreptitiously importing the immense components and modules—parts he had at one point in his life put together in the interest of the Empire’s protection. And although he had given up his comfortable and recent career at a Viziam factory in stationary orbit above Uhodoh IX, he remained much in the way of his old work. He scrolled through the drones that were under his command to ensure none were slacking. The complex algorithms, made by much smarter individuals, would sometimes encounter a hiccup, and he would need to be on site to make them work continuously. These were the challenges of a lowly foreman that worked out on the edge of Providence, and he would groan, and he would pain himself in thinking, what the hell he was doing there, in the active construction of a sling-shot-to-the-stars, undoubtedly purposed in the dissipation of the Empire's power.
His employer was the CEO of a multi-trillion ISK company who often compared himself to the prophet Dano Gheinok. The way this man had with words was the reason that the foreman felt he had a calling for this position in the furthest reaches of New Eden. Inspiring speeches that closely adhered to the Scriptures gave the entire staff and their families the assurance that what they were doing was of the greatest and of the most holy purpose. Immense salaries confirmed the purpose enough for most, though not for the foreman. His worry was of the very wrath of God, and that to shirk his duties, he would just as well hit the ground a dead man. And despite his reservations as being a traitorous man, he stuck with the fold of the prophet’s renegade company, for he had witnessed the parallels that his spiritual leader would guide his people on a great exodus.
The foreman did not often test being disloyal to his duties, for he feared the anger that he might face as punishment. However, since the thought that he ought to return as a loyal member of the Amarr Empire, he would sometimes feel compelled to exit his workspace to seek some peace of mind. He did not go far most days, only so much so as to pace around the terminal where he worked. He took longer strides each day, until finally, was compelled to leave his workspace entirely, for fifteen minutes, so that the drones he directed would suffer little from being ill-supervised.
He left his station. The arcs of light seemed to search for him, though in their displeasure, went out.
Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he could hide his nervous thoughts. Sweat soaked onto his thighs, and his coworkers, that occupied the break room, would only notice him in passing as he shuffled furtively through the corridor. There was nothing in this passage that could be construed as part of his duties. It was one of the first modules completed, and two of three branching hallways lead to no location where he would be authorized to enter. Red-hued signs hung from the ceiling at a junction he was coming to, and he decided he did not want to turn, but instead, would take a straight shot from his terminal to the end of the corridor, reasoning that he would be able to return quickest to work, from his unauthorized departure. Thick tubes, pipes, wires and intermittent lights preceded his steps to a cold hatch that was kept horizontal and shut along the smoothed yellow-metal floor plates. He turned about to see if anyone was watching, having now reached his destination.
Kneeling, the man negotiated the stick of his pockets, where when pulling out his hands, turned the pockets inside out. He could finally gain hold of the hatch’s cold metal ring. He heaved and turned around the manual locking mechanism, and with a slight creak, the hatch opened.
He saw the influence of his artistry as he crept down the ladder for several steps. It was a narrow chamber, only a meter wide with stairwells intermittently ascending and descending. There were platforms that jutted into the cold exposure of the chamber, areas intended for the maintenance of the behemoth he occupied. When at the floor of the space below, he began to wander. His presence was greeted with boosting howls that when tired of screaming, would fall and morph into a distant thrumming. The foreman made his way to the nearest platform and leaned onto what minimal railing there was, and he admired his work. He became soothed to witness that the polished beauty that could be found on the face of all Amarrian crafts, was turned inside out, to be hardly recognizable within the actual innards of the monument to a new age.
He thought someone must have been running operational tests, for he began to hear rumbling and felt the shrill pull of air.
Sharply and suddenly, the rapid whooping call of an alarm sounded for all men to return to their station. The foreman uncrossed his arms, and in an imbalanced stupor darted to the bottom rung of the ladder he had come down, to hurry back up. The structure shook and loose valves rattled against each other.
In passing above the threshold, there were angry and wild fires that swirled out of, and sparks that leapt from, what he could distantly be made out to be, his former break room. An explosion sounded, and then came a second that erupted, where at the blast, he felt a deafening rush of air sweep past him! His grip, that still firmly wrapped around the ladder, secured him, and he tried to lower himself to safety and struggled to shut the hatch. It became clear to him, the rapid decrease in pressure from the module above him would not allow the hatch to easily shut. He stretched himself to grab the wheel above, and he pulled, using his legs for leverage. The foreman ached, and muscles began to tear, though, a final spur from his will to live, supplied him with the strength to secure what thin atmosphere was left.
He fell backward, awkwardly and was entangled at the base of the squat ladder. He lurched in an attempt to stand, and he knew he would fall, so braced himself. He grabbed firmly to the railing, and worked his way to a platform below him, where he knew he could access an emergency locker. The foreman punched onto an illuminated keypad, a panic code, which alerted to the emergency systems his location. A clear paned door unlatched and offered the man an airtight suit, which he dressed himself in, and his broad ears began to finally gauge the noises of the chamber. The alarm had stopped, and outside he could hear crashing and thudding against the hull of the border gate.
He knew he would be reprimanded if he was found to be here and alive, and the thought of being dead altogether, so that not needing to explain himself could be an option. The foreman hung onto the railing and began to wait for help. Lights flickered and soon power from the module was drained completely. The only light shining was the light that was produced from within his helmet, and he wondered how he could phrase his escape—a miraculous act of God that spared him from harm, in such way, that his superiors could believe, and not deliver upon his own head, the wrath of the wild noises he heard outside.
He rubbed his hands in prayer and his eyes shifted to the walls.
The immediate dangers to the foreman’s life subsided, and outside the construction zone, 100 kilometers out, and interspersed all between, was the vast wreckage of a thousand ships. The final crushing shots were being made, on behalf of the defenders, and scattered at the furthest end, lined the wrecks of Revelation class dreadnoughts The hulking ships were split into wicked metal fragments that drifted in errant directions, and denoted on their hulls, were large striking symbols of fealty to the Empire. The remnant of the flagship, known to have the ticker "Passion" stamped across its bow, was pierced with jagged chambers, dark and weaving, fit enough for a catacomb on Amarr Prime. The husk of the ship would be the closest thing to a burial that the Amarr loyalists would receive before being exhumed by a fleet of scavengers.
Their renegade leader issued a recovery protocol, and in the same breath, cursed the loyalists, which his forces had slaughtered, as worthless. He praised the efforts towards the victory, congratulating his armada’s actions as being their finest display of violent might. His voice surged across the intercom speakers in all the ships and stations of the system. He assured them of the wealth that would become theirs with the imminent completion of the border gate.
The foreman was inspired and he was sick to be in the gut of the installation. He knew how he would fashion the story of his survival.