Thursday, 29 July 2010

Ambush at Complex 47

The captain of the proteus watched in disbelief as the pulse wave of a massive EMP explosion erupted from the complex he was tasked to watch. Lights went out, several rooms outgassed their atmospheres and more than a few frigates caught in the blast began to coast. He turned to the comms officer as two more carriers were decloaked by the blast, making six that were present. As well as the Titan.
"Do we have any communications from Lord Esna?"
"Yes sir, but it doesn't make any sense, and it was so badly distorted I'm not sure..."
"Play it... "
".....Ram me....."
He listened to the distorted transmission, but he recognised the voice. Taking his place in the command chair he switched all controls to him command.
"Chances of any escape pods making it back to our space?"
"Then we die together. For the Glory of the Empire!"

The cloaking device flickered and shut down as the micro-warp drive kicked in, propelling the T3 cruiser to high speeds. Sensor tracks from the functional 'ceptors and several of the carriers swept the hull and one managed to target him before the cloak was able to activate. He flew the cruiser towards the picket line of carriers, a swarm of fighters and drones vectoring in on him. Dropping his own drones as a decoy he flew in close, skimming the surface of the first carrier, the fire from the attackers impacting his shields and the shields of the carrier. Dodging the projecting arrays and towers on the carrier he pulled up, feeling the sluggish handling now and noticing the speed slowly dropping. Webbed. Not that it would help. Flying free from the carrier he aimed at the docking bay he had seen Lord Esna dock at, powered up the blasters and began unleashing round after round of anti-matter. He pushed the engines beyond their specifications, their howling scream loud in the ship, silent in the depths of space. As the collision sirens sounded, he uttered a prayer for his immortal soul and impacted doing over 600 m/s.

The blast tore through the docking bay despite the heavy shielding and armour plating. As it exploded in the remains of the bay, the protective shielding failed, the mag-shield keeping the atmosphere in overloaded and debris, people and everything loose was blasted into space. The crumpled remains of the cruiser lodged to deeply to be knocked free wedged the main pressure door open, everyone who could not make it to a secure room began to die.

Gallicia Tavrook picked up the unconscious Kim and threw her bodily into the room while the Admiral raged and clawed his way back from almost being sucked out. Angelina looked at the gun he had thrown at her and dragging Esna in one hand pulled him into the room. She thought of the words Gallicia had whispered in her ear before all hell had broken loose, and her cuffs had come undone.
"Now we are even and the debt has been paid. She will come. Fight and live little slave."
She wondered what he was talking about, but didn't care, and even though the impulse to shoot him was high, saving Esna was higher still. The wind howling down the corridor made ever movement a struggle, but when in the room she saw Gallicia standing in a doorway she hadn't seen before and he waved as a door closed, the light glinting on his chrome face mask.

A hidden blast rocked the station more and the pressure door on the room began to drop. The air in the room howled as it dissapeared under the closing emergency door, yet with a primal scream the Admiral hauled himself in, and glared at those in the room, a weapon snapping up to his shoulder. Two of them were unconscious, Esna Pitojee who had come to rescue, and Dr Kim Leannder, kidnapped for leverage. He looked on as Angelina snapped her own weapon up. Blood streamed down both their faces and they breathed hard in the thinning atmosphere.

Angelina Ballentyne, blood pouring into her eye from a gash kept her good eye on the rifles sight. Her naked body showed signs of punishment, her breasts moving rapidly as she tried to breath more. She stood firm, not letting the other out of her sight. The Admiral. Her nemesis. Of all the people to survive, why couldn't he have been sucked out to die in the vacuum with his men.
"So, my slave. What now? We are still in my station, and my men are outside in ships just waiting to come in. Shall we die together?"
"No one else is dying today, unless it's you and your kind, filth!"
"Such spirit, a wonder you were so hard to break."
"I'm not broken, this gun pointed at your black heart says that."
"What if you do shoot me? You have nowhere to go."
The door slammed shut and an emergency system began to pump oxygen back into the room. Outside there was a low throb that reached a crescendo that could be felt even through the decking. The Admiral smiled.
"Once my men dock and open this door you will be captured, again. And we'll begin all over again. That sound was my titan, destroying whatever pitiful remnants of a fleet that your pathetic Master sent as support."
They both stood, weapons aimed at each other. Neither daring to move, to give an inch incase it could be used against them. In the corridor outside they could hear the sound of weapons fire, screams and machinery. Then there was another low throb, and a more powerful cresendo, obviously nearer.
"Your fleet is lost, your friends are dead or dying, or will be my slaves. Give up now and I'll make sure his death is quick, and you can choose how she dies. You my slave will live, though you will wish to die a thousand times every day."
"I think, Admiral, that you are forgetting one thing."
The door to the room screamed as it was opened against it's will and slowly raised.
"What is that, slave?"
"I have people who will fight and die for me. People who will kill anyone and everyone to see I am free. You'd better pray Admiral that I kill you before she does."
"Pah, as if you could. You are nothing more than a pirate and a pitiful excuse for a slave. "
There was a faint sound of something metallic bouncing into the room. Neither looked at the stun grenade as it came in, or as it exploded, slamming them both back into the walls and the darkness of unconsciousness......

Lord Esna awoke as he was being dragged through the corridors of a ship. Groggily he shook his head, or tried to. He tried to activate his systems, his internal comms, his locator, and finally his suicide implant. All failed. He even ran his tongue over his suicide tooth, it was missing. Manacles were around his wrists and a chain linked them. As his vision cleared he saw the corridor was golden. Mostly. An Amarr ship, he thought, then realised, it was burnished copper. His blood froze. Blood Raiders!

They dragged him for a way and entered a large spacious room, the walls covered in tapestries displaying hundreds of Blood Raider Covenants sigils, and at the end of the room a raised dias and a throne, hidden in darkness.
Already before it there were three people he recognised. Angelina, bound as he was and fighting with the chains, screaming and cursing. Kim Leannder, kneeling and head lowered, the fight gone from her. And the Admiral, his uniform heavily stained and his chains were many. They dropped him next to Angelina and stood guard, slamming their rifle buts into Angelina to get her to stop.
Something moved on the throne, from where they knelt they could all see it was a hand raised, the guards all bowed and left.

"Where are we? What is this place? I demand to be...."
The voice whispered loudly, loud enough for all to hear, yet they could not discern any details.
"You are in no position to demand anything. Know this, you are onboard my personal flagship, the Blood Raider Avatar Chalice of Blood. You are mine, all of you."
Esna jumped to his feet, rage in his heart and fury pumping in his veins.
"I will never submit to the Blood Raiders! You are all abominations in my eyes!"
The sound of heels clicking on the metal floor appeared from behind them and a figure clad in voluminous robes of a red silk kimono, an immaculate geisha stopped infront of them and turned around. All of them gasped and uttered oaths, saying the same name.
She smiled at them all, bowed and turned, walking towards the throne and kneeling before it in a submissive pose, nodded as unheard words were whispered and got up, turning with a flourish towards them.
"Now, what shall we do with you all I wonder?"

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Long Lost Revelations

As soon as the landing craft had touch down Carmilla left the ship. A rifle and a backpack slung over her shoulder. She was still wearing the stained and worn clothes she had worn when she had been present at the awakening at the cloning station of her Mistress.

She had made her presence known and was glad that she hadn't had to board the station under arms as she had thought, but it was obvious, Mizhara didn't want her there. It had taken a while to see that Ithiria was infact back to her normal self, and again she had managed to irritate Miz. But the main fact, Ithiria was herself, and had a few changes to make, was all she needed to know. As soon as they had conducted their business, and then spent precious little time together she left for the digsite.

Several weeks before they had started putting down the foundations for the colony, with plans to exploit the planet and begin exporting it's resources. What they had not expected were the ruins. All the building was stopped and a team was brought into explore and map, lead by Carmilla who after all, had the training. What she found blew her mind.

The ruins were of a temple. A temple of extreme age. And unlike anything she had ever seen before. Temples of the Amarr she had seen, great and ornate. But this one, though large seemed to be simple. None of the walls were engraved or etched or imprinted, and no trace of colour could be found. Only the most simple carvings on the exterior of what they assumed was the entrance.

It was more by luck than design that they found the rest of the temple, out beyond what they had created as their landing platform. A mile away from the pad several geologists had noticed something strange about the way one of the hills looked and began to investigate. To their excitement they realised the whole side of the hill was actually created by a landslide from the mountain beyond, hundreds, perhaps thousands of years ago. They began to excavate, and it was to this site that Carmilla was shown when she docked.

Although it has recieved some damage from the rockfall, the great statue carved into the wall radiated a serenity that was almost palpable. The statue was of a large man sitting in a lotus position, an outstretched hand and a smile that transcended the ages. For what seemed like an eternity Carmilla stood and stared.

"There are structures beneath the statue, we're only just getting to them, but they seem to be in remarkable condition as they were covered by the rockfall."
"Have you dated it yet?"
"We have..... but we're unsure. It's about four thousand years old."
"That's old.... take me to the dig site. What of the primary site?"
"We've found some scrolls which we've managed to preserve, but we cant' translate them. We've found numerous small tokens which look like the statue, but nothing of any technological nature."

They walked to the statue and Carmilla looked up at it. It was huge and old, carved straight into the side of the hill. Traces of carvings on the walls looked faded and damaged. At the very base they had opened up an undamaged area of one building and found several large cylinders which were on primitive rollers. The walls were bare again, but this time found several paintings on the walls, faded with time but still visible.
"I've seen these things before, these wheels. In one of the Sani Sabik books on older religions. These are prayer wheels I think."
"Why do they need wheels?"
She ran her hand over the exterior.
"Here, feel, there are carvings underneath, faint, worn down."
"They are... and these are moving. After all this time."
"Take images of them, I want the carvings catalogued and collated. All the writings, images, pictures, anything. I want them as soon as you can. And call Ithiria..... I think she needs to see this...."

It was a week before Ithiria Deritan managed to make it to the site though. Pressing matters and a hectic personal life had consipired to keep her away not only from her wife, but also several of those close to her. But they had found her and impressed upon her the need to come. And, for Carmilla, she had come.

When she had landed the area around the statue had been covered with a powerful chamelon field and deflector shield, obscuring it from casual viewers. There were armed troops all around, all from Carmilla's estate from the look of the sigils. She was ushered into the main chamber where she found her wife and slave.
"Carmilla, what is this place you have found?"
"Aaah, Ithi, I'm so glad you could come. I think I've found the questions I was looking for."
She smiled and took her wife into her arms and kissed her, then wiped the dust from her brow, sweeping her hair back.
"I didn't know you were looking for any questions."
"This is a temple to an old god, a very ancient god. We've managed to decipher some of the scrolls and prayers we've found. It all makes sense... the four noble truths and the eightfold path. This is everything I've been looking for. I just have to understand it.. and follow them. There is a lot of talk of suffering. It's nature, how to stop it, how to pass it.... the paths needed to reach past it. Then there is more, paths to wisdom, concentration, and ethical conduct. It is the key needed to the greatest mystery of all, which we've lost."
She turned and looked at Ithiria and stopped.
"I'm sorry... maybe if you look at the statue..."

They both stood and looked at the statue. As were a good number of those who were nearby. They had restored it, cleaned it and tidied away the rubble. It sat there, quite content radiating serenity.
"This is what I'm after. This is the key to perfect peace. To a state of mind that is free from craving, anger and hate."
She turned to Ithiria and looked at her, seeing in her eyes the same look that was on hers when she first saw the statue.
"Since I've been here I've not sacrificed once, or offered up any prayers to the Red God, or even thought much about it. It pales into insignificance next to this."
Ithiria looked at Carmilla and wondered what had happened to her, what had changed her so much. It was almost as if this wasn't Carm at all.
"Carmilla, leave your people to look after it, come with me."
"No, I must finish my work....."
"Get on board the shuttle now, and pray I do not loose my temper."
Something in her voice got through to Carm and she turned around and looked at her.
"Right now?"
She nodded, and pointed."Don't ask. Just obey. Now!"
Carmilla nodded and obeyed, she had heard the tone before, knew what would happen if she disobeyed her. That wouldn't happen, not again. She sat next to her wife, holding her hand and rested her head on her shoulder and was asleep before the shuttle entered orbit.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Old acquaintences, Old friends

Angelina looked up at the statue that now graced the back of the Autumn Breeze geisha house. The original statue to Carmilla's Mistress, Ithiria Deritan had been destroyed when the estate it was on was obliterated by orbital bombardment. This one, was an almost perfect copy. With the moon behind the statues head it gave her a saintly appearance. Leaning on the banister of the second floor, the night sky held back by the few lights that were on and the brightness of the full moon she sighed and smiled. Things were changing for the better.

Looking down at her still manacled wrists she wondered when she'd take them off. Already her collar had gone, taken when her Master had finally consented and taken her just as a submissive. But these she had kept, though she'd taken the chain off. Turning around she walked back into the room, Carmilla's own personal room, a richly furnished opulant room. Carmila herself was down in the Geisha house, entertaining with the other girls and wouldn't be free for hours. But she didn't care, she had a more important task. She looked down on the bed to the form of Kelandrisa Deritan, wrapped in a robe of sheer gallente silk. After the last day she had been in a bad condition, and it was only her actions last night which had broken her out of the spell she was under. Actions which.... she smiled at the thought. What mattered was she was here, and safe.

For a moment she looked at Kelandrisa, massaged her own neck and laughed. Free.... she was free. Ithiria and Carmilla had already given their consent to allow her to return to work with the Disciples. She was no longer a slave, oh yes a submissive, but submitting to Esna made her happy. With a giggle she began to dance around the room, falling into the rote of the steps and laughing louder as she did, the skirts and sleeves of her kimono flaring out. Free.... Free!

The first shot took her in the back.....

Pain lanced through her as the stun bolt slammed into her back. The body armour she wore under her Kimono took the impact and only a dull throb and a numbing of the area around the impact got through to her, but it was enough to knock her off her feet, crashing into a rack of swords by the door. She rolled to her feet, grabbing a sword in one hand, ripping the scabbard off and looking at the open windows. There... three shadows, four... five. Already they were moving, their initial gambit failed. Three coming to her, two to Kelandrisa's sleeping form. She cursed her lack of corp implant and screamed loudly as she charged the three, dodging their incoming stun bolts. Slash, sidestep, stab, a quick feint with the scabbard followed by a slash. Snarling she turned to the two by Kelandrisa. Blood had spattered her, the scent in her nostrils, heady... no wonder they turned Blood Raider she thought, the blood lust in her yearned for it.
"Drop the blade slave or your whore gets it in the neck."
One of the assassins had Kelandrisa up, arm twisted behind her back, her eyes looking glazed and a knife at her throat. The other she couldn't see. She threw the sword, it slammed into his neck followed up by a flying kick she delivered to the handle severing his head. Kelandrisa fell to the bed. In a flash, sword in hand she was with her, shakign her, looking around trying to spot the last man.
"Kel, we have to leave....."

She never felt the second shot....

The man in black kept his weapon out and walked out of the shadows. The stun blast had hit them both, knocking them out. Using his foot he rolled over the unconscious form of Angelina.
"Panther team leader to Nest. Four cubs down, hunter has been neutralised. Request permission to clease facility."
"Negative. We are only here for the hunter. Evac shuttle is enroute."
He rolled her back over and cuffed her hands then tore the silked robe and tied her feet and knees and gagged her. Slinging her over his shoulder he walked to the banister and waited as the shuttle approached. He had just thrown her into the shuttles open door when the rooms main doors burst open and three figures ran in, all geisha.
"Farewell ladies.... perhaps next tim....."
The lead geisha threw something from both hands before leaping at the edge of the shuttle, the other two following. He fell back, his chest feeling tight and noticed the two metal half stars that had grown from his chest. As he touched them the first geisha was in, a short stabbing knife in her hands a look of absolute fury on her face. Two of his men were down before they realised and they opened fire, the stun bolts seemingly inneffective as the howling banshees before him tore into the heavily armed and armoured men he'd left on board like they were babes in arms. He clipped one end of his harness to the back wall and the other end to Angelina's bonds.

Implant Override Shuttle Control - Authorisation Panther1
Course correction - Port ten degrees
Disengage internal inertial dampners
Engine - Accelaration 100%

The shuttle under his control accelerated, slamming into the side of the Geisha House as it moved off, tilting the ship with the effect he hoped for. The three Geisha and the rest of his men were taken by surprise and thrown to the floor, then they fell out of the shuttle as it tilted. Screams, then a loud splash. The splash he heard... most likely the pool he thought as he turned control back over to the pilots who hadn't stopped cursing him. He sat down, still looking at the stars in his chest, cursed Angelina one more time he died.

In the pool Carmilla cut the throat of the last surviving kidnapper and screamed defiance at the retreating shuttle. Her cry loud and full of anger... and despair.
The other Geisha helped her out of the pool and also looked into the distance before carrying her back into the house to tend to her wounds, one leg badly broken, her shoulder dislocated.

As the shuttle landed on the deck of the Archon a robed figure walked aboard and saw the scene. He was expecting some losses, but a near empty shuttle with only his prize and his the dead commando leader was not what he expected.
"Take the slave to the cells. Careful, she is very dangerous. I will begin the interrogation once we are back in the safety of the prison. Bury the commando with full honours."
His laugh was dark and evil.
"Welcome back Angelina....."

Angelina awoke to pain. Her arms were stretched above her, her feet dangled over open air. There were no sounds in the room save her breathing. As her eyes focused she realised it there was no light, here in darkness, hanging from somewhere.

Heart rate increasing, signs of anxiety

There was no sound, no insects, she wasn't in the hole, she wasn't back on the plantation, wasn't a slave. She kept hold of that thought, she wasn't a slave, was free. Esna had freed her, her Master had freed her. Nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. Nothing.... She look all around that she could, there was just nothing ness. She screamed.... it didn't echo. Leaning forward she spat, there was no sound of it hitting.

Heart rate off the chart
Release the insects

A sound came the edge of her hearing, her heart was beating so fast she almost missed it, the blood rushing aroudn her body sounded like waterfalls in her ears. It was a skittering. The skittering became a buzzing. Multiples... she whimpered. The insects were back to crawl and bite and fly and..... Something heavy, with wings landed on her shoulder, the sound of it's wings thrumbing in her ears like repulsor engines. Her scream caused the bug to fly away, but there were more there now, she could feel them crawling all over her, flying past her. She screamed, twisted her body as much as she could, which was not a lot. Some bit her, feeling more like dagger stabs. Hysteria set in, wild sobbing and screaming, loosing control of her mind, her faculties and her body as she soiled herself. And still the insects poured into the room.

She woke to a high powered water spray washing the bugs and the filth off of her. She hung still by her wrists, her body aching, muscles screaming, her mind racing. As the water covered her entire body several times, she felt her body straining under the pressure... then it was gone. All that remained, the darkness and the dripping of water. Eventually, exhaustion over took her and she slipped back into unconsciousness.

The whip hit her and she woke with a scream. She looked all around still darkness. It hit again. And again. Letting the fury build within her she kept herself from screaming out, for a while. The whip hit her again and again and again. The blood ran down her back, the pain intense. Then it stopped. The dripping now, her blood. For a moment something within her tried to bring a piece of information to her, but the whipping started again, from the front this time and this time she screamed and didn't stop.

She is almost ready. Prepare the interrogation room.
Life signs are failing. If she is whipped anymore...

A hand slapped her face, hard. She woke up, still in darkness, but her hands were not above her, they were by her side, by the feel of it, clamped to a chair. Her ankles were the same, though her back was another matter. The cold metal of the chair pressed up against her back wounds. It would hurt if she wasmoved without care.
"Welcome back, Angelina. I trust you are well?"
That voice. So familiar. By why the.... Light flooded in as a hand ripped off the skin bandage that had been placed over her eyes. The bright light painful. But that voice....
"It has been so long since we were together. And you have has such an interesting time. Murder, mass murder, herasy, arson, damaging religious property, offences agaisnt the empire, piracy.. the usual stuff. But grand theft starship and running away from your Master.... tut tut tut. That just won't do."
He laughed and sat down, in her eyes he was just a blur. Unfamilar smells filled the chamber, as well as familiar ones.

"You see my little slave, your Master has gone against the terms of your sale. You are to be a slave for the rest of your unnatural life. Not that you are much of an immortal now, I saw your implant slots are missing. You must have been a bad slave. But what is important... is that you are here now, and when you die.... you die. There is no cloning out here that is not ours. And we have your clone, several of them right down stairs. I had some good sport with one earlier."
The shape walked over to a wall and pressed a button, blast shields retracted and a view screen looked out over a vast complex, at the centre, a binary star.
"So... since your Master decided to betray us, we took it upon ourselves to look after the rest of your sentence. You will serve it here, with me, in this prison. Deep in a wormhole.... Amarr's most secure, stable and high security prison."
He walked over and slapped her face several times then turned the interrogation chair so she could look out.
"See that? This is your home now. You are stuck here, a prisoner in my prison. And don't think you can escape. We know you... I know you. I know you of old. And my dear sweet Angelina, heaven forbid that you should forget. We are old acquaintences, old friends...."
Angelina shook her head, clearing the last of the fugue that was on her. The voice, too familiar, her mind remembered it because her body was shrieking, but her memory didn't.
"I see you have yet to remember. Lets see if this helps."

He spun the chair and knelt before her, his pure white Admirals uniform covered in medals, a heavy dagger at his belt. She looked into his eyes... and remembered.

....the first shot took off his jaw and the second exploded his head. Brain matter and gore spattered Angelina, who was still laughing. Behind the body of the now dead Admiral Eliza stood, smoking gun in hand......

The Admiral! Her Admiral, her Master. Alive!
"No... it can't be... you are dead... You're Dead!"
He backhanded her again with a laugh.
"You of all people should know... you can't kill an immortal. And an immortal of the Amarr Empire, an Admiral and a tool of justice is a God. And you will learn to worship me! Welcome to the Portal of Damnation, you will stay here the rest of your life as my slave. Now, Angelina...."
The restraints fell away from the chair and he grabbed her hair and dragged her out of the chair. She screamed as the bloody mess that was her back started to bleed again and he threw her to the floor. Standing behind her he kicked her legs apart hard.
"I'm sure you remember this part slave. I don't care if you don't enjoy this, this is for my pleasure."

Her scream was loud, long and reminded all those who heard it of a soul damned for eternity. Which was partially true, as the laugh that echoed along with it was pure damnation.