Good thing you’re still about, we’ll need you again for this one.
The Republic University guys had a look over the document and it has what they’re after: directions. There’s a mention in one of the sections of an old Nefantar bloodline, and where they buried their dead. I’m told they’re important because of some old folktale about how they buried a special type of Khumaak with one of their leaders. Pretty odd stuff, but also kinda interesting.
They’re on a myth-busting mission, though, that’s the thing. There is no actual Khumaak, just a bunch of old Ammatar bones, probably. Still, you go there, check it out, and then they can say in their report that the area was inspected by a capsuleer and turned up nothing. They put that together with the proof in this old book that you inspected the right area and, I dunno, write an essay about how clever they are. The important thing for me was just getting our own history back, and that’s what you should remember too.
So anyway, you feel like digging up some graves? The coordinates will be 2.5 million ISK in collateral, to cover associated risks yet again. If for some crazy reason there is actually a unique Khumaak out there, it belongs in a museum, not your cargo bay. 2.5m ISK would buy a lot of museums, you see. Whatever way it goes, our history won’t lose out again.
Hmmm, I thought to myself; the Ammatar. Aura responded to my partial mental query and displayed some information on a HUD in my pod.
The Ammatars are descendants of Minmatar that collaborated with the Amarrians during the latter occupation of the Minmatar worlds. When the Amarrians were thrown out during the Minmatar Rebellion their collaborators fled with them. The Amarrians helped their Minmatar allies to settle in a few systems not far from the newly formed Minmatar Republic. The Ammatars regard themselves as the true rules of the Minmatars, mainly based around the fact that a fair proportion of the old Minmatar aristocracy, or tribal leaders, were among them. In this vein they named their doman San Matar, meaning ‘true home’.
The term Ammatar was first used by the Gallenteans to distinguish between the two groups. Out of convenience even the Ammatars themselves started using it, stating that, with the help of the Amarrians, they had progressed beyond the old social structure of the Minmatar tribes. Indeed, the Ammatars have very deliberately abolished many age-old traditions of the Minmatar tribal society and embraced some Amarrian ones instead.
In the months following the Elder War of YC110, the Ammatar Mandate was beset with turmoil and uncertainty. During the war, its lucrative tsula plantations — the Mandate’s largest export crop and arguably the backbone of its economy — were systematically destroyed by Chamberlain Karsoth’s forces in retaliation for the Mandate government’s harbouring of Starkmanir Minmatar tribesmen, a clan lineage long-since thought extinct. After Empress Jamyl I rose to power in the Amarr Empire, however, appointing Royal Heir Yonis Ardishapur as Ammatar’s saviour and protector, the nation has entered into something of a renaissance. Aid now flows in a steady stream from the Empire’s coffers, command heirarchies are being reinforced and morale is on the rise. It appears the star of Ammatar will soon shine bright once again.
Reluctantly, I had to agree with Arsten; this was interesting. My own vested interest in the past of the Minmatar people continued to grow; based on words Sanmatar Shakor had once said to me, “To know our future, we must first understand our past.”
I transferred 2.5 million ISK to Arsten Takalo, received the coordinates, and headed out to investigate the Hauteker Burial Site, remembering a key phrase from the Memoirs I had read:
The next morning she was borne up to the stars, to be closer to him. He had her enclosed inside a giant holy dome, a place so magnificent that we wept to see it. In the warmth of the Zaid sun she would remain, forever embracing the shared secret that had brought them together.
Sounded like a good place to hide a Khuumak to me.
Artillery cannons overheated, spewing projectiles as fast as they could. My damage control system strained to minimize the damage being dealt to my ship. One of my invulnerability fields flickered as my capacitor drained. I quickly relayed the command to my engineering team to load up our last capacitor booster, an 800 model.
This hurt far more than I expected. If I kept my systems overheated much longer, they were going to blow causing unpredictable collatoral damage.
I could see my enemy’s shields fail; hopefully his battlecruiser wasn’t armour tanked.
My artillery cannons tore large chunks of rolled tungsten plating from his hull, and I smiled, returning my systems to normal operations, initiating cooling protocols immediately.
The Gistalis Legatus battlecruiser exploded shortly thereafter. It was the last of the Angel pirate gang that had ambushed me upon arriving at the coordinates Arsten had provided.
Under normal circumstances, I would suspect a double-cross, but my gut told me otherwise. Just seemed to me that too many people had an interest in this place.
I surveyed the battlefield, feeling satisfied with the carnage littering nearby space.
I hated pirates.
I zoomed in on a domed structure in the distance, with a serene statue mounting it. It was amazing how obvious things were when you had all the pieces. I tagged it on my overview and pushed forward.
Angel scum! You will not desecrate our holy grounds!
What the hell?
Aura identified multiple hostiles inbound. Imperial Templars! What were the Amarr doing here? Ah, this was an Ammatar Burial Site; they were defending what they believed to be theirs.
The only thing I hated more than pirates was Amarrians, but the pirates had done a very good job of weakening my ship and depleting my ammunition reserves.
Still, if I knew my ship and my crew, they wouldn’t hesitate at the opportunity to kill some Amarr.
I aligned the Onslaught towards the Templars, kicking in my afterburner, extending the side vents of my front panels for maximum effect on the enemy.
The Sleipnir was an intimidating ship to behold. Narrow like a snake, but with the head of a dragon. I would breathe fire on them and consume their ashes.
Two minutes later I was desperately comming for backup from the Tribal Liberation Force.
” I repeat, this is Colonel Roc Wieler in need of immediate assistance in Frarn. Warp to my coordinates broadcast on secure channel Alpha-Echo-Niner.”
My ship rocked again, a plate of armour flying off into the inky blackness of space. My shields were depleted, my capacitor spent, and I was doing my best to hobble away but was taking serious damage. I wouldn’t last another two minutes by my estimate.
Shame, I thought to myself. She was a good ship.
My comm came alive. “Aegis Commander Thraxite, responding to distress call on allied Minmatar channel. You still alive Colonel Wieler?”
“Yes pilot, but not for long if you don’t get here. What are you flying?”
“Just a Myrm. Inbound now.”
Seemed our allies were proving useful… finally.
With the help of the Gallente pilot, the tide of the battle turned. A few of the Templars managed to escape, but both of our ships had remained intact, which was more important.
I relayed the events to Arsten Takalo via comm, sharing in his surprise that the Amarrians had mistaken me for a pirate.
Huh, guess we aren’t the only ones with an interest in this place eh? What the hell are Angels and Amarr doing here?
Well, let’s not hang around and find out. Do a quick inspection of the central burial tomb and then you’re done — if there’s nothing in there, it won’t be anywhere else. Report back to me afterwards, I need to go assemble the Republic Uni guys before you return. Takalo out.
“Thank you for the assist, Aegis Commander. You certainly know your ship.”
“Fly safe, Colonel.”
Moments later, my battered and beaten ship was approaching the tomb. I did a quick scan, and was surprised when something showed up.
I quickly sent down an archeology specialist I had hired in case of such an event, and a few hours later was rewarded with the fragile weight of a Khumaak in my hand.
I asked the archeologist for his report:
This fragile Khumaak appears to be over a century old, and could perhaps date back to the Starkmanir rebellion itself.
There are unique markings along the side, tiny holes that appear to have fastened the sceptre to a wall at one point. In the centre of the flared orb there is another unique distinguishing mark, the visage of an Amarrian man draped in the robes of a Saint. His name, Torus Arzad, is not mentioned in any contemporary history, Amarrian or otherwise. Below his face a single line of text reads:
“Understand his mercy, and you will know enough.”
I couldn’t believe it. Arsten would be floored.