Star Port City of Elisa
Neon Tipsy Bar, Upper levels
Malcolm Talis, a tired and worn out human in his early sixties laid against the wall of a moving elevator as it made its ascent to the classiest and most expensive bar you could find in this city. The occasion? Malcolm had just returned from a rather somber get-together, a real close friend, practically a younger brother, had recently passed away from complications. Attending his funeral with his family, friends and surviving members of their platoon, and after that depressing reminder of all their mortality, he needed one hell of a drink. So, Malcolm and rest of the crew had decided to throw a little drinking party in his honor.
The aged Malcolm maintaining his balance as he heard the "bing" sound from elevator. The doors sliding open to reveal bright neon lights, they really wanted to put an emphasis on the bar's namesake that's for sure. Malcolm scanned his surroundings, taking in the atmosphere, jazz-like music was booming in the air, followed by soothing scents of various strong drinks.
The bar was half-full, its patrons were a varied sort, ranging from "fellow" navy officers, though by the looks of them, they were a bunch of coreworlder suits, to suits of the business variety, both shady and legitimate sat in another corner, all drinking to their hearts content. All the while, in the left corner stood a little stage of sorts, two young, quite attractive Misle women had begun to sing
in their native tongue, it was a rather calming melody.
Malcolm continued scanning the room until he took notice of a Dathu man hand waving to him, turning to that direction to see a trio waiting for him, the aforementioned Dathu, a human woman, and an Jakai. Malcolm walked over and sat down as he grabbed a glass, he was fashionably late enough to have his drink ready. "Glad you could make it, Suit." the aged woman, Isana Talis, his wife spoke, followed by hearty chuckles from the other two
"Yeah yeah, very funny." Malcolm replied scoffing off the jab, the two then lovingly embracing each other, followed by a short but passionate kiss. "Love you too, darling." She said.
"With that." Caris, the Dathu spoke, raising a glass. "A toast to Sanders."
"May he find peace forevermore." Giddy, the Jakai spoke.
"To the Gravemakers." Both Isana and Malcolm said, the four of them clashing their glasses together and begun gulping down their drinks. An hour had passed, the four, having been separated for a number of years had much catching up to do. "So, how's the family doing?" Caris asked the couple.
Malcolm and Isana looked to one another before turning their attention to their old friend. "Doing well." Malcolm replied. "Called Jade an hour ago, we were going to have a personal holiday together..." Malcolm paused, once more looking to his wife. "...but me and Isana agreed now wasn't the best time...the grandkids were mighty disappointed."
"Yeah..not in a festive mood either." Giddy said, gulping down another glass. Some more time passes as the Gravemakers took it all at a slowed pace, a large hologram screen brightened up as the daily news reports came in, a Petalos Anchor appearing. "Fear and paranoia grips the frontier as more reports of abductions and disapp-"
"Like I need a reminder how shit the frontier is." Malcolm said, chugging down another drink. "As much as I loath the idea. We're going to try to convince Jade to move her and the kids to the New Eden. You barely hear this shit about abductions over there."
"I have to admit." Caris said. "I can't help but be curious. I even hear these wild rumors."
Isana, raised an eyebrow, herself now curious. "Like what?" he asked.
"Some traveling Merchants ramble on that the Black Sun are behind it all."
"Wait what?" Giddy asked. That's a bit of a reach, last I heard, they're just a bunch of smugglers."
"Slavery isn't too far from their profession." Malcolm replied, taking another sip. "Bastards know full well no one's coming to help."
While the Gravemakers were busy chatting some more, they had failed to notice a young stranger approaching from behind, having just arrived from the elevator. "Captain Talis?" the stranger spoke.
The four turned to see a human man in his mid thirties, wearing a fine suit often associated with the Federal Intelligence Service. He extended his hand outward to the captain. "The name's Leon Severis, I'm with Intelligence."
"We know that much." Isana spoke up.
"Could you and your associates come with me for but a moment?" Leon requested of the group. "It won't take long."
Some time had past, the group driving around the city in a rather spacious truck, often used as mobile listing posts by Intelligence. The Gravemakers sat rather comfortably one one end of the truck, all the troubling spying gear gutted out in favor of a more comfy seats. Facing them on the other end was Agent Severis. "So, why'd you drag us out here?" Malcolm asked, honestly intrigued by this point.
"Are you familiar with the recent string of frontier abductions?" Leon asked rhetorically.
Malcolm had quickly shifted from intrigued, to confused. "...yes... Why'd you bring that up?"
"I'll get to the point, your country is in need of your services Captain." Leon said. "We've been investigating these incidents for years now, and we think we're starting to see a pattern."
"Oh yeah?" Malcolm asked, the brief discussion his group had on the Black Sun was a bit coincidental. "Let me guess, Black Sun?"
"..that's right." Leon said. "We've been monitoring their peripheral activities for years. Only now have we gotten something concrete. Intelligence believes there's more to the Black that meets the eye."
"And what does this have to do with me exactly?" Malcolm asked.
"You were considered a quite the maverick among your peers in the marines, men and women serving under you have commented on your unorthodox, but efficient command. Such an officer would be-"
"Let me stop you right there." Malcolm interrupted. "I've survived pirates, two-bit warlords and even the free stars, I've done my country a great service as is. "Malcolm paused as he took a breath. "If you're so worried about the people? And are so sure of Black Sun? Why not have the proper authorities handle this? I don't plan on playing interstellar police for you, do you're own damn job!"
"Malcolm..lets at least hear him out." Isana said, gripping onto his arm, locking into each other gaze. "Fine, continue."
"Thank you." Leon said. "An Officer of your talent and skill would be of great use in an operation such as this." He paused a moment, catching his breath. "Any major military deployments in the frontier will make the Core Powers nervous." He paused once more. "So We're assembling a special task force, drawing volunteers from all parts of the military to partake in this operation, to put a stop to the Black Sun's organized abductions once and for all."
"And you want me for..?" Malcolm asked, still skeptical.
"Well to be the Operational Commander." Leon replied. You'll be giving a ship, crew and the additional volunteers to assist you in your investigations, and possible engagements, it is the frontier afterall."
Malcolm remained silent and pondered, he could possibly do some do some good, helping the frontier and possibly hunt down the bastards tearing families apart, keep his own family safe. "Ok, fine" He agreed. "I'll do this under one condition though, you'll pay for the relocation of my daughter's family to the Core Worlds. I don't want them getting caught up in..whatever the hell this is."
"That can be arranged, captain." Leon said, extending his hand towards him, Malcolm grabbed a hold of it and shook. "Glad we can come to an understanding."