History and Lore
Skinny and I were still in the cantina an hour or so after that nights operation had ended. The plan was to head to the cantina, down a mug of Whatnot and call it a night. Plans changed. I was working on my seventh mug and Skinny had lost track of how many he had. He handled aclohol like a champ though, I was impressed. As we sat there in the dimly lit cantina, Skinny was telling me all his war stories and his time in The Black Company. I listened intently, for the history of the Company and it’s members thoroughly interested me.
Skinny’s tall tales inspired me to tell him of my own, before I had even heard of The Black Company. I was a medic for the Caldari Ground Combat Team and I had seen my fair share of action. We swapped stories for a while, me and Skinny, and we drank our Whatnot in copious volumes.
After a half our or so of conversation, there was a small lull. I lit up a cigarette and scanned the room. I saw quite a few unfamiliar faces in the cantina, most likely Conscripts. One of the Conscripts was sitting at the table next to me and Skinny and was talking with Junk and Dirt. I wasn’t paying attention to what he was saying, I never really payed attention to Conscripts. However, the Conscript piqued my interest when he mentioned something about his former military service.
“Yeah, I used to be a Marine back in the day. I like seeing a lot of prior service guys around here, we have a little in common. The sense of Brotherhood here? You could taste it. I’m used to that, you know. Being a Marine and all.”
I rolled my eyes. This loud-mouthed son of a bitch just went on and on about how great and awesome the Marines were. I didn’t know what faction he was from, nor did I care. Marines were Marines, regardless of factions. Just like the Caldari Navy and the Minmitar Navy, it doesn’t matter what faction.
I recalled the Conscript mentioning he saw a holovid of a bunch of Ground Combat Teams screwing around while deployed to some planet. I remembered the video, I had watched it at the Commons. I thought it was funny; bored soldiers trying to have a good time. However, this Conscript was not amused.
“Typical GCT bullshit. I’ve never seen a bigger bunch of clowns! Notice how almost every holovid about the GCT is a comedy? Name one Marine holovid that made you laugh. We’re on the same side, true, but would you rather have a Marine at your back or a GCT piece of shit? Point proven.” At this point of their converstaion, I stood up and made my way over to their table.
I asked him what his name was. Roger. Jokingly, I replied: “Roger, I’ll kill ya’. I’m a medic, son. I can kill ya’ or I can heal ya’. Your choice.” I smiled.
“Virgil, I’m sure my corpsmen will serve me just fine, and if he is unable I’ll take death before dishonor any day of the week.” Without looking up at me, he took a swig of his Whatnot.
“Wait. So what you’re saying is that you’d rather have a Marine corpsman take care of you, than a GCT Combat Medic? You’d rather die?”
He took another sip of Whatnot and nodded ‘yes’. I could feel the anger building up in me. I didn’t want to be angry at this newcomer, but those were bold words from someone who wasn’t even a goddamned Recruit yet. I was damn proud of being a Combat Medic, and everyone knew that. I did my best not to ball up my fist and slam it into his cocky face, but my best wasn’t enough.
I slammed into his face with all the force I could muster, knocking him backwards out of his chair. He got up and tackled me into a table behind me. I felt the glass bottles breaking under our combined weight. We rolled around on the floor for a couple minutes, stood up and proceeded to knock the shit out of eachother. The patrons in the cantina formed a circle around us, shouting in tongues.
The fight ended abruptly when I felt someone grab me from behind and fling me into another table like a rag doll. I was quite familiar with that move and I didn’t have to look up to see who had done it.
“Damn SB. Couldn’t you have just told us to stop?” The question was ignored. Kingz was tossing Roger around, bastard was still hyped and ready to fight. It took a few minutes but Kingz got Roger subdued.
I stood up and started picking bits of glass out of my arms. Kingz came up to me, picked up a chair and set it upright, and told me to sit. He grabbed himself a chair and sat across from me; the cantina patrons began to pick up the tables and then went about their business like nothing had happened. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed Skinny smirking the smuggest of smirks.
“Son of a bitch, Patches. Come on Brother, you’re supposed to be setting an example.”
I smiled, “I am setting an example SB. Not to fuck with me, especially conscripts.” Kingz gave me a stern look and then let out a roar of a laugh. I cringed; he was so goddamn loud.
“Alright Patches, fair enough. But you know better. I had better see you conduct yourself in a more professional, Black Company, way. Understood?” I nodded my head in understanding. Kingz stood up, patted me on the back and ordered me a mug of Whatnot.
Within the next few days, word got around about my so called ‘hatred’ for Conscripts. Most of them stayed away from me. Not what I wanted, but I’m not complaining. Every muscle in my body ached, I forgot how tiring fighting gets and how sore it leaves one. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one having problems with Roger, there were many others out there who had no interest in what he had to say and found him rather annoying.
I don’t know how he managed to do it, but Roger was voted in and offered the acceptance to Recruitment. Naturally, he accepted. I dreaded seeing him more often and dreaded having to fly with him. But a job is a job, if I have to do it then I’ll suck it up and do it. Within the course of a week, I flew a couple patrols with him and it wasn’t that bad. I started watching his behavior as well. Turns out, at least to me, he enjoyed doing things on his own; missioning for Minmitar agents and whatnot by himself. To me, that’s the wrong answer.
I woke up one morning and found myself looking at a post in HQ. Roger was booted from the Company for innapropriate conversations with other Members. From what I heard, he began to bash other’s nationalities, but who knows. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say. What I CAN say is that I’m happy he’s out. Oh well. Recruits come and go, but the Company remains.
Paperwork. A lot of it. Mocker hated paperwork with a passion and as the new Annalist, there was a lot that needed to be done. Typical stuff; the kind that happens when one person takes over for someone else. There were things to fix and Mocker wanted to fix them for good. Mocker started getting burned out after about three hours of moderating paperwork and going over the Annals. It seemed that as soon as one stack of paperwork were finished, another one twice it’s size would materialize on his desk. He needed a break, he needed help, he needed to talk to the Captain.
“Are you absolutely sure that’s who you want?” The Captain offered Mocker a cigar, to which he declined. The Captains office was the nicest one in the whole station, naturally. It was large and dimly lit, the Captain had eye problems; most likely a former war injury. He’d never tell anyone though.
Mocker nodded his head. “Yep. Positive. He’s a hard worker. He get’s shit done and I always see him around the HQ or out on patrols. He fits the bill, Cap’.”
“Very well Mocker. When you think he’s ready, just let me know and we’ll get him set up with the position. Until then, I trust you’ll train him up on all the paperwork that needs to get done?”
“Definitely. I’ve already made him privy to this information, Cap’. He’s been in my office with his nose in the Annal Archives nearly every free moment he has. Damn kid is like a fat kid in a candy store. He’s been asking a lot of questions from everyone about the history of the Company. He’s eager to learn and that is a definite plus.”
“You make it seem like you have him working for you already Mocker,” The Captain sat down and chuckled. “Maybe you should give him a test job. See if he can name all the Captains of The Black Company, both in times of old and present. Before our deployment to the lands of Conan, up until our deployment to New Eden. Have him include the Captains in the time of Croaker as well.”
“That’s a damn fine idea Cap’. Damn fine indeed. I’ll get right on it.” Mocker stood up, saluted and left the office, on his way back to the Annalist Headquarters.
Mocker turned on the dim lights to the Annalist Headquarters and sat down behind his desk, still piled with paperwork. He let out an exasperated sigh of frustration and made the decision to give up on the paperwork for the time being. Mocker opened the drawer to his desk, pulled out a pen and paper and began to jot down ideas for what the Annalist Apprentice could help him with. He already had an idea of who he wanted, the only job now was to train him up on what needed to be done.
Mocker turned on his console and began typing a message to the soon to be incoming Apprentice Annalist. In time, his life would get easier. All that needed to be done was the training…