I don't even know if you will remember me, we only met the once and under bizarre circumstances. I was a part of the rescue effort when you were freed at the slave auction several months ago.
I played the part of the Amarrian Slave holder who purchased you, I took you aboard my ship while we waited for the others to be rescued.
I have thought of you often since your rescue and wondered how you have been. I hope you are well.
I really don't know what else to say here...just wondering about you.
Avari Slave Market, Spring, 112
Sweat trickled down her face as she pulled off the ornate gold and silver headpiece. Heat flushed her cheeks and her heart was racing.
Once inside the transporter, several crew members swarmed her for orders. She'd just purchased several hundred slaves from the Avair market in a ruse to distract the slavers so that the rest of the rescue team could make their move.
Though she was no stranger to the underground world of slave rescue ops, this was the first time she'd worked with many of them. Some faces were familiar like Ashar KorAzor and Esna Pitoojee. She knew and trusted them. The others, not so much. Though she'd heard of people like Jakiin, CJ Walker, and Ember Vykos, she was a bit apprehensive to be working with them, to allowing her identity to be known as someone who actively fought against slavery.
It was one thing to say in the Empire that you owned no slaves, it was a far different thing to be accused of helping free them.
Shalee gave orders to her crew, sending off various slaves into different quarters. Once they were settled in, she gave the go-ahead for take off. She was far more comfortable in orbit than she would be so close to the market.
All but one slave was sent to quarters. Another, Valhiri Akell, would be brought into the captain's quarters.
Blue eyes focused on the rescued girl. She smiled as she motioned for Valhiri to follow her. Though she'd never met her, she had a good idea she was drugged.
"You are my new mistress. I love you, can I rub your feet?"
Shalee frowned, knowing the girl would regret saying any of this later. She couldn't help but to feel sorry for her. "All I want you to do is sit there, okay? We will have you out of here soon, back where you belong."
Valhiri Akell smiled, her eyes glazed over, "I belong to you, now."
Shalee furrowed her brows. "You belong to no one." She pulled up a holo-display, watching the slave auction with interest, debating on going back inside to purchase more.
Valhiri sat placidly as ordered. "Shall I fetch you some water? Or something else? Please tell me what you'd like?"
Shalee trailed her hand through her hair, "No, nothing, thank you." She pulled off the oppressively hot robe and tossed it over the back of a chair. Beneath it she wore long white pants tucked into boots, with a thin white shirt.
"You're very pretty, miss. I'm glad you bought me. I'll do my best to make you happy."
Shalee bit on her bottom lip in thought, watching the holo. She flicked her gaze over to Val, "How long have you been captured?"
Val frowned in thought. "A while. I'm not sure. I was scared, at first, but now I know there's nothing to be afraid of."
"I am Shalee, by the way. We haven't been introduced properly. And I am not your owner. There are some of us here who have come to rescue you and as many of the others as we can."
The drugged girl smiled again, "That's a nice word. 'Rescue'. You're a nice person, miss, I can tell."
Shalee smiled warmly in return. "You seem nice too. And cared for. This is a big operation to rescue one person. A lot of people are at risk."
"Oh. I hope no-one gets hurt."
"Everyone seems more than capable."
Valhiri hesitated, "I thought I saw Amieta, before ... is she here?"
"Yes, she is."
"I like Amieta. She's a good friend. I'm not supposed to be friends with my patients, but I am with Amieta."
"Oh, that's right, you're in medicine?" Shalee asked.
"I'm a shrink. I shrink people's heads." Val giggled.
"That's what people say."
Shalee laughed as well. "Oh. Well I like mine the size that it is, so hands off."
Gunfire erupted in the market, the sound echoing though the live feed. Shalee frowned deeply, tensing, as she watched, worried for those who were still on the ground, fighting it out.
"Would you like me to massage your back, miss?" Val asked, noticing Shalee tensing up.
She shook her head, "No thank you." She listened for a moment, knowing that it was almost over. The cacophony of screams, bullet fire, and general chaos flooding through the comms overwhelmed her. She quickly turned it off and started to pace the cabin anxiously. "I'm sure they will let us know soon...I can't bear to hear anymore of it."
Valhiri looked sympathetic, "Would you like me to distract you? I could sing to you, if you'd like?"
"No no, Valhiri. You mustn't do anything at all for me. I don't own you, it was all a ruse, okay? You're not a slave. Perhaps in time, we could become friends."
"I'd like that. I like being friends with people."
"And take with you the knowledge that not all Amarrians are the same. That not everyone believes in slavery, and that there are some out there who are fighting against it." Shalee looked at her, hoping she would remember, knowing the votixin was likely going to fuzz her memories of the whole thing.
"I used to hate the Amarrians. But now I know that all people are kin, really. We need to love each other." Val said.
"Hate the institution of slavery, even if some Holders do it for the 'right' reasons. Or at least they think they do. But not everyone buys into that dogma or practices such faith any longer. Things are changing in the Empire, slowly but surely."
Before either of them could say anything else, sirens erupted throughout the ship as five hostiles warped in, followed by seven ministry ships. Explosions lit the sky outside the view port as the battle now engulfed them.
"Pardon my Gallente here, but I think it's time we get the fuck out of here...." The ship rattled as another explosion slung debris at the transporter.
She commed the ground crew, "Uh hey...unexpected change of plans, we've a fleet battle going on around us up here..." The power flickered inside the cabin.
Anxiety coursed through her, "We should be in warp now....oh my god why are we not in warp?" She fell to her feet as the ship trembled again.
"Esna!" she commed frantically.
"Shalee, I'm heading to the docking bay at the station. I'll be inbound on the Firefight momentarily."
Her voice took on a higher pitched tone, "I don't know that we have a moment!" Another explosion lit the sky as the cabin went dark.
"Oh god, we are out of cap..." It was the worst feeling in the world, to be a passenger while someone else captained the ship you were flying aboard.
Her gaze met Vals and she tried to appear calm despite the growing fear that any second would be their last.
"Undocking. Shalee, I'm aligning to warp, slaving my navicomputer to your location. Estimate three-zero seconds to arrival."
Over the comms, prayers were being muttered. Shalee offered one up as well, bracing herself for the moment of impact.
Suddenly Esna appeared next to Shalee's transport, the colossal bulk of the Archon-class carrier dwarfing the drop ship. Streams of armor repairing nanites shot out to friendly ships, while a wave of ECM drones hurtled toward what remained of the hostile fleet.
The transporter finally lurched into warp.
The following day a blurb flashed across the streaming feed of galactic news. "Accidental fire erupts in Avair Slave Market. Thousands presumed dead."