Lost Stars (Chronicle)
From: Dasegne Oleart, Internal Affairs, Quafe Corportion
To: Poire Viladillet, CEO, Quafe Corporation
Subject: Post-Mortem Investigation of Failed Product “Quafe+”
We have concluded our research pertaining to the failed launch of the product “Quafe+.” Enclosed are initial research and preliminary documents for your perusal. We have stopped production of this product before it could hit distribution. All implicated parties have been dealt with in proper fashion. The authorities have not been contacted. Gheyr Aillon is no longer with the company. The investigation will conclude in the next week after the guilty parties have been re-massed. Please find below the investigation’s core documentation:
From the journal of Yosif Veaulore, Sept. 12, YC 111
I sold out today, and I could not be happier. Viladillet’s office sent me their newest offer, and I couldn’t turn them down. It was more than generous for my fleet of junkers. Those Quafe bastards are losing their touch the bigger they get; either that or they’re desperate for the biomass. Quafe+ must be behind schedule. I don’t know why they want us to keep at the morgue runs. All I can gather is that it’s to keep an emotional face on that lumbering beast of a conglomerate.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Quafe Corporations Merges with Lost Stars, Inc.
Lirsautton – The Quafe Corporation, through its affiliated development group Quafe Enterprises, has completed their merger with Lost Stars, Inc., a Federation-based funerary services agency that specializes in cleaning up the aftermath of starship engagements throughout the Gallente Federation. The companies agreed to a merger agreement in which Lost Stars will join the myriad companies comprising Quafe Enterprises’ burgeoning business conglomeration.
Lost Stars, Inc. was founded in YC 106 by Yosif Veaulore, who started the business with his son, Perime. From the corporation’s beginnings as a single frigate retrieving the bodies of crew members from deadspace pockets, Lost Stars, Inc. currently maintains a fleet of over 2,000 ships, many custom designed for deep space retrieval missions. Through the deal, Lost Stars will provide an important role in Quafe Enterprise’s new Industrial Services division. “We are proud to be a part of the Quafe family,” says Lost Stars’ president Veaulore. “We hope to provide a human element to Quafe to show that there’s more to the corporation than beverages.”
From the journal of Yosif Veaulore, March 20, YC 112:
I’m worried about Perime. I thought that maybe he’d get better in this new environment. His messages are sullen and terse to me – at least, much more than usual. I made sure the Quafe suits didn’t audit his files, and I transferred him to a new ship. I’ve done all I can to keep him safe and out of trouble. What am I doing wrong?
Perime tried to convince me that this was a bad deal, that I’d hurt him if I went through with it. He doesn’t have much to stand on. He sold me his shares the last time he got in trouble. It was the only way I could keep his problems quiet. This business was his idea. That’s why I still keep him on staff, even if he’s under an assumed name. I have to keep him close to me; I love him too much. This will be a good change for him, I know it.
An excerpt from the New Acquisition Progress Report – Lost Stars, Inc., a Quafe Corporation company.
From the start of the quarter, biomass retrieval operations have increased 200% over Q2 last year, though the number of retrieval requests has gone down by 40%. Most of the biomass collected from deadspace locations and battle sites is reprocessed for use within the company, though a small percentage (5%) of the collected human biomass is sold to cloning facilities throughout the Federation.
Average number of bodies retrieved from deadspace locations: 5,000
Average number of bodies retrieved from capsuleer engagements (30 ships destroyed): 1,000
Average requests for individuals to be retrievals per engagement: 100
Most biomass retrieved from these locations consists of starship crew members who did not survive the engagement: Their ship’s hull was breached before they could escape through escape pods. This recovered biomass is often unrecognizable, exposed as it is to the vacuum of space. When requests to retrieve individual bodies from this wreckage come through, the price is often well above normal for funeral costs. Upper-income families are the overwhelming majority of clients for Lost Stars, as they wish to give their relatives lost to starship engagements a proper burial. The Servant Sisters of EVE are also major clients, providing donations to under-privileged families to pay for retrieval and funeral costs.
From the journal of Yosif Veaulore, April 10, YC112
They’ve done wonders with my ships: repairs on all the ships, new crews, new equipment. Like new salvage drones (for about half of the ships, at least). No more space walks (“death marches,” as the crews used to call them). Now they can send those drones out to fetch the corpses instead of sending my men out there. Gallente liberty means freedom from dangerous work, right? I’m expecting that within a year we’ll have all the ships fitted with these new modules. That’ll probably mean massive layoffs at that time. That’s the price of safety.
Personnel files: biography of Gheyr Aillon, Project Lead for Quafe+
Aillon was born to a family of miners in a deep-cavern mining community on Mannar. Both of his parents were killed in a deep-core explosion when Aillon was eight years old. He lived with relatives and family friends throughout Mannar until he turned eighteen. Though impoverished throughout his childhood, he had a natural talent for learning and and eloquence beyond his years. When he was of age, he attended the University of Caille on a full scholarship. Graduating at the top of his class with a degree in Marketing, he entered the Federation’s corporate world in a blaze, founding several small companies and turning them into instant successes. Some of the corporations folded shortly after Aillon left them, but a few still remain as part of Quafe Enterprise’s conglomeration. Three years ago, Aillon became the youngest project lead in the history of the Quafe Corporation at the age of 31.
From the journal of Yosif Veaulore, April 30, YC112:
Perime’s getting worse. I’ve barely spoken to him in the last month. He’s angry with me, he must be. To him, it was always about helping people. Am I losing sight of that? No, I can’t be. I’m helping more people than ever; progress does nothing but good to people.
That’s why Perime wanted me to start this company with him, or at least that was the front he put on. We had lost his mother to one of these engagements. She and I were divorced by that point – “irreconcilable differences” – but Perime loved her so much, and it broke his heart when she started working as an engineer for those big, new starships. She had only been working the space lanes for about a year when her ship was destroyed in a capsuleer engagement. Total destruction of the Thorax on which she was stationed. Four eggers caught the ship by surprise in an asteroid belt in Intaki. They tore the ship apart before all of the escape pods could get away. Verine didn’t make it out. We tried several times to reach the capsuleer in charge of that Thorax, pleading for him to help us recover her body so we could give it a proper burial. He never returned our messages.
Perime was barely a man by that point, but he still had a child’s temper. He went into his dark rage, the worst I’ve ever seen him. I lost contact with him for about a month. It was only when the hospital contacted me that I knew he was alive, though he was badly beaten, almost to the point of death. He never told me where he went, but that didn’t matter. I was just happy to know he was alive. That’s when he proposed the business to me. I couldn’t turn the boy down, so I promised to give it a shot, regardless of the cost. Anything to keep him safe and close.
An excerpt from a speech by Gheyr Aillon to investors:
“Quafe+ represents the evolution of soft drinks in New Eden. With Quafe+, we hope to turn our marketed beverages from leisure products to dietary staples. We’re in a ‘want’ market, where consumers want our product on an almost daily basis to quench their thirst. But we must expand past this point and turn our product into a ‘need’ market. We must have people needing Quafe+, demanding it for their very sake. This need does not have to be a physical dependency, mind. We’re not some seedy organization like the Serpentis. Rather, this is a cultural need, a social need, and a spiritual need. Quafe+ is the culmination of the familiar, a socio-genetic need for any culture. We envision this product as absolutely necessary for progress into the future.
“And for that, my dear investors, I reveal to you Quafe+’s marketing campaign. It’s entitled, ‘Quafe+: A Familiar Taste for a Better Tomorrow.’ We will begin our campaign at the end of this year and start selling the product in the Genesis region next year.”
From the journal of Yosif Veaulore, April 30, YC112
We never wanted to make a profit, but we did over time. There were just too many ships out there and too much destruction not to grow our business. Even though the capsuleers took control of the ship, they still needed a crew. And when they got into their territorial pissing matches, when those demigods started to destroy each other en masse, that’s when business started picking up. While the eggers could lose their ship and their pod and wake up in a cloning vat somewhere, their crew members were not so lucky. When that starship exploded – and it almost always exploded – if you didn’t get into your escape pod quick enough, you were lost in the black, forgotten, disgorged, alone. That’s where we came in.
We could empathize; we knew what it was like to lose a loved one to the dark void. Verine wasn’t lucky enough to have a funeral. But others could be, and we provided that service. It was dangerous work – we lost about 20% of our workers on the death marches – but it gave someone closure. We didn’t want to be profitable, but there was too much business to be had.
The business was all about collecting the dead, harvesting the forgotten. We collected millions of bodies over the years. We did our best to categorize them and contact the next of kin, and the technology grew quickly over the years. DNA scanners, facial reconstruction simulators, biomass regenerators, and biological recursion solvents aided in identifying the lost souls. But not everyone could pay our prices – we were still a business, after all. Most of the time, though, we either couldn’t find a next of kin or the family didn’t care about our recovery. That’s when we sold the bodies for biomass – human recycling at its nadir. And that’s when Quafe became interested in us.
Excerpted transcript of meeting between Dr. Simuel Touvoux, Director of Research and Riesves Boricon, Marketing Manager. April 14, YC112. From internal communications network and surveillance unit.
TOUVOUX: How’re the focus groups responding to the new flavoring agents?
BORICON: They can’t get enough of it! Product demand within 12 hours of consumption is up 300%. It’s like they’re addicted to Quafe+. I’ve never seen anything like it. Your team has done wonders. This is practically alchemy you’ve discovered, doctor.
TOUVOUX: It was surprisingly simple to produce the requisite flavoring agents, to be completely honest. Once we found the proper source for biomass, it was a matter of fiddling with the chemical compounds.
BORICON: Where are you getting your biomass from? What’s so special about this biomass, anyway?
TOUVOUX: Quafe Enterprises is supplying it to us. Gheyr Aillon says that it’s specific to one solar system somewhere in Pureblind. I don’t ask too many questions: biomass is biomass, to be honest. Besides, we’re already behind schedule on this project already, and we would be even more behind if we didn’t find that flavoring agent.
BORICON: Is Viladillet aware of any of this?
TOUVOUX: We’re keeping him posted on progress, but not really giving him too many details. The old man’s too caught up in developing Enterprises to really care about the product even more.
BORICON: All he cares about is results, anyway. Frankly, that’s all that matters in this world. This product is rather low on the totem pole, but I see the potential for it to revolutionize the company. Maybe that will catch his attention.
From the journal of Yosif Veaulore, June 4, YC112
I don’t have much control over my company anymore. At least, not the way I wanted. I guess that’s what I get for selling out. I’m still in charge of the business’s daily operations, but I have no control over its direction. The suits are in charge of that now. It’s not about helping people anymore.
I can’t even tell what they’re doing with the biomass anymore. Aillon keeps shutting me out of those conversations. Our operating efficiency has gone through the roof, and we’re collecting more bodies than ever! (It helps when there’s more capsuleers in the sky to blast one another into oblivion, but now I’m just being morbid.) I’ve been cut off from all of my business partners and all the recycling plants that we had deals with. Hell, I can’t even talk to the Sisters anymore. They’re still our customer, but they go straight through Aillon’s office at this point. That brash bastard – he’s trying to take too much control. He should stick to his stupid Quafe+ project and leave us be.
And to make matters worse, I can’t even get in contact with Perime. I hope he’s OK.
Lost Stars, Inc., a division of Quafe Corporation
Biomass Recovery ship, “Eulogy”
May 10th, YC112
In the early hours of May 10th, YC112, several crewmen aboard this vessel discovered an employee, Eamom Delviour, to be stealing biomass from the storage facility aboard the ship. Delviour was found in an unoccupied sector of the ship – formerly the ship’s galley, before the “Eulogy” was owned by Quafe Corporation – hiding more than 20 bodies in a storage freezer. This sector of the ship was restricted to authorized personnel only, though ship logs report that almost no crew member besides Delviour had entered the area in at least four months.
According to the ship’s security investigation, the stolen biomass was preserved with embalming liquids and DNA purifiers stolen from Lab C. Each preserved body maintained most of its structural integrity, and each body was formerly female. Most of the bodies contained some wounds and discoloration throughout the torso area, though the causes of these markings are unknown. Significant traces of Delviour’s DNA have been found on some of the bodies as well.
By ship protocol, intact biomass is considered a premium and as such is closely recorded. However, as Delviour was one of the few space walkers onboard, his biomass collection was never fully recorded, which explains how he managed to collect so many bodies undetected. The space walking regiment on board the “Eulogy” has been dismissed entirely and the ship is currently docked and will be fitted with biomass recovery drones within the next few weeks.
Eamom Delviour has been taken into custody by Quafe security, who have performed a complete background check. Delviour was operating as an employee of Lost Stars, Inc. under an assumed identity. His real name is Perime Veaulore, son of Lost Stars president Yosif Veaulore, and a wanted fugitive within the Federation for the crimes of unlawful harvesting of biomass, assault and battery, and a classified charge under the “Dead Rights Amendment.” Security personnel found very few possessions in his bunk area: a few changes of clothes, multiple IDs for other assumed identities, and a picture of an Intaki woman. There was also a felchon, a plasma knife commonly found among Mannar gangs, hidden beneath his bunk.
The recovered biomass has been destroyed to preserve the integrity of the corporation’s product identity. This matter will be dealt with internally, and no federal authority is to be notified of Veaulore’s crimes against the corporation.
From: Gheyr Aillon, Project Lead – Quafe+
To: Dr. Simuel Touvoux, Director of Research, and Macal Theloux, President, Quafe Enterprises
Touvoux and Theloux,
We have increased our production of biomass for your flavoring agents. Efficiency within the Lost Stars operation is up nearly 200%. We have added more ships to our fleet and expanded our harvesting range to include Republic space. We are also looking to purchase the regional biomass retrieval service, Bountiful Harvests, from Boundless Creation within the next few months. With the increase in harvesting operations, we should acquire enough biomass to meet demand of Quafe+ upon launch, as long as your team can mass-produce the flavoring agent in time. I will keep you updated. So far, nobody is aware of the agent’s source, though Internal Affairs has been asking questions lately. I’m not worried,though: We kept Veaulore around for a reason.
From the journal of Yosif Veaulore, June 30th, YC112
I sold out, and I’m getting exactly what I deserve. I haven’t talked to Perime in months, I’m getting blackballed from all executive meetings, and Internal Affairs is breathing down my neck for reasons I cannot understand. I just wanted to help people, to soothe them when they lost someone close to them. Why is this happening to me?
I have a meeting with Theloux and Aillon tomorrow. The suits don’t seem happy with me or how Lost Stars is operating. I don’t know why they’re blaming me; Aillon’s the one that’s stonewalling me! I’ll find out what he wants tomorrow. In fact, I think it’s time I stand up to that bastard. I’ve been out of the loop for too long. I need to stand firm, take charge, and steer Lost Stars back to the proper course, the righteous course – the course I started with Perime. Then I’ll take Perime out of hiding and put him back on the executive level with me. Back where he belongs! They’ll understand why I hid him; Quafe’s got the pull to get the charges against him dropped. I’ll try one more time to contact Perime after my meeting tomorrow.
Excerpt from the interrogation of Perime Veaulore. May 30th, YC112
OFFICER: Why were you stealing bodies?
VEAULORE: The same reason Quafe needs the bodies: I have to fulfill my needs.
OFFICER: How many have you stolen since the merger?
VEAULORE: A pittance compared to the amount Quafe has repurposed. Do you even know what they do with the biomass?
OFFICER: We’re not here to talk about what your company does. We’re here to talk about what you did to the company. Tell me: How many bodies have you stolen?
VEAULORE: I can’t even count at this point. Everybody’s heads are so far up their collective asses that it became too easy. I got greedy, just like Aillon.
OFFICER: Give me a rough estimate.
VEAULORE: A few dozen, maybe. I only stole them once I got the urges. I’m not healthy, you know.
OFFICER: That’s an understatement.
VEAULORE: Though I’m nowhere as perverted as your bosses. My sickness stopped at myself; I always gave the bodies a proper burial once I was done with them. But you guys; you’re abominations. Especially Aillon.
OFFICER: You don’t know what you’re talking about.
VEAULORE: Follow the paper trail. See where all this biomass goes once we collect it. Then you’ll see who the real criminals are.
From: Dasegne Oleart, InternalAffairs, Quafe Corpoartion
To: Poire Viladillet, Marcal Theloux, Riesves Boricon, Simuel Touvoux
Subject: Cease Production Immediately
After a lead from our security personnel, we have begun investigations into the production of Quafe+, particularly its flavoring agents. The source of these agents, originally described as coming from a particular plant in the Pureblind region, has been proven false by independent researchers. With the full cooperation of Mr. Theloux, we have investigated the true source of the biomass required to produce these flavoring agents: biomass harvested through Lost Stars, Inc., an entity within Quafe Enterprises that specializes in collecting human remains from starship engagements.
We have apprehended the company’s president, Yosif Veaulore, as we believe that he provided the corporation with falsified documents relating to the distribution of his company’s harvested biomass. With the help of Dr. Touvoux and Mr. Boricon, who have both provided the full documented reports from Mr. Veaulore and his company, we can state with complete certainty that Veaulore acted independently of any other entity within Quafe Enterprises and Quafe Corporation as a whole. We have also apprehended his accomplice, Perime Veaulore, his son and former business partner, who is wanted by federal authorities for crimes committed prior to the merger of Lost Stars, Inc. and Quafe Enterprises.
At the request of Internal Affairs, we ask that all development and production of Quafe+ be halted immediately until such time that we can conclude our investigation.
From: Poire Viladillet
To: Marcal Theloux
Subject: (No subject)
Where is Gheyr Aillon? Our accounting department would like a word with him on his project’s investments. He has not reported to work in a week. I want him found and returned to my office – preferably alive.