Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Decollaring the Hard Way

Carmilla Deritan ran for her life. The breath was harsh in her lungs, pain stabbed from the running, the burn of the blast wound in her side. Tears of pain streaked her face as she turned a corner and slammed her back to the wall. With the few seconds she had she ripped the high heeled boots from her feet and peered around the corner.

The darkness of the station corridors was lit only by flickering lights which were off more often than on. This far down in the station the doors to the rooms were sealed by locks, others by welding. Elevators to other levels were damaged by the gutter gangs, the stair cases a greater risk than those following her.

Something moved in the darkness, she couldn't see what it was, but didn't stay to watch. She ran. The rubbish on the floor slashing her feet and legs, but desperation makes for determination. There would be a sanctuary here, there had to be.

As she sped past a stairwell she tripped, a narrow rope across the corridor tripping her and the whooping sound as a gutter gang leapt down the stairwell. In agony she tried to get up and looked into the barrel of a slug thrower, the blade from a makeshift spear was near, pointed at her throat.
"'Ere Bonza, we gots a good one this time. Looks like upper level come down to mix it up with the gangs."
"We'll mix it up allright, look at those legs. Long time since something like this came down here."
There was a chorus of laughter as more shapes appeared from the stairwell.
"With good reason," one of them kicked her foot making her wince, "The last one we found died in bed. But we got our use from her. Didn't we lads?"
The last brought on a cheer as two pulled her to her feet and tied her hands behind her back. Hands groped her and she cried out.
"Please don't, I can pay for my release. I must escape I'm being..."
A filthy rag was thrust in her mouth and a fist slammed into her gut.
"We're not interested in pay, your cred sticks will be pay enough. We want your flesh, high born sluts love a bit of gutter gang...."

They dragged her up the stairwell, hands touching her, ripping her clothing, groping. Probing. Others punched or kicked her as they threw her through a door into a derelict room covered in filthy matresses and rotting boxes. Tears streamed down her face as the first one kicked her into submission before taking her. He ripped the scarf from her throat to wipe himself and noticed the collar.
"Oh, runaway slave huh? Nice collar, will help us keep you tied to the bed."
He dropped the scarf on her face, so she didn't see his head explode, just felt the spatter and his body fall on her legs. Screams and gunshots rang out, the whine of laser rifles and the sound of blades cutting bodies. Shortly, it was over and the sound of heavy boots came towards her.

The scarf was removed from her face and a heavy set caldari looked down at her, using it to wipe the gore from her naked body. He pulled out a holo-device and projected a face, Carmilla's.
"This is the one. Bring the gear."
"It's scary Rox, how she knows this stuff. Remind me never to betray her."
"Those who do, don't last long. Nor do those who insult her, like you my dear."
Carmilla tried to get up but hands held her arms and legs down. She screamed but it did no good.
"No one here to rescue you. But we're only here for one thing, then you can go free. You have my word."
One of the bodies walked over with a portable cutting torch and knelt by the side of her head and forced it sideways. She tried to fight as she could feel the heat of the torch coming closer to her neck.
"Of course, that's assuming you survive your decollaring."
The pain flared in her neck, a nova of brilliance that flared into the black oblivion of unconsciousness.

Several hours later a station patrol, despatched by an unknown call walked into the room, high powered torches lighting the room, showing the scene of devestation. The stench of the bodies was nothing however to the smell of burnt flesh. Walking around the bodies the lieutenant stopped by the body in the centre of the room, a naked sebiestor with a brutal burn scar on her neck. He checked and found she was alive and reached for his communicator.

She woke into stabbing pain and terrified eyes looked around the medical bay she was in. The nurse came over to her whispering soothing words. Carms hands flew up to her neck, her collar was gone. A heavy bandage was wrapped around her neck and she could feel the warm fuzzyness of the painkillers. She fell off the bed while the nurse called for assistance, an alarm ringing as she staggered up and walked to the mirror on the wall. With heavy clawing fingers she ripped the bandage away, blood started leaking from the wound and the pain lanced into her neck. But she looked at her neck, saw the smooth curve of her neck unbroken, unmarred except for a hideous burn from the cutting torch. Her collar, had gone! Her pulse raced, her nails scratched at her neck as the nurses pulled her back to her bed. She opened her mouth and screamed a soul rending howl that sent shivers down the backs of those present.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Transference of Powers

The party at the Autumn Breeze geisha house had been going for over a day and showed no signs of ending. A private party composed of a wide variety of people, all drinking, eating and relaxing with the prospect of making merry and sampling the delights on the house. Brutors rubbed shoulders with Khanid, Sebiestors with Civire, pirates drank with law enforcement, priests talked in quiet corners with heretics.

Carmilla Deritan walked softly around the facility, flanked by two Geisha carrying trays of drinks and food. All around the sounds of loud music and raucous laughter were loud, songs being sung and the sounds of more passionate endevours.
"....And then we pulled a high G turn and fired as they overshot...."
"....We dumped the whole lot onto the Rens market and cleaned up in the course of three hours....."
"....Serpentis assault force was staring right at me... well what could I do...."
"... more wine! Hurry woman, ere I thirst...."
Carmilla smiled as she checked each room, spending a few moments with each group to make sure they were well taken care of, dispatching more girls where needed.

Eventually she stopped in one of the chill out rooms and poured herself a large goblet of wine. Rubbing her eyes and yawning she sipped her wine and looked out over the pool a level below, watching several couple.
"What's up, little snake?"
She flinched before she could stop herself and turned around and looked into a devilishly attractice face, a strange face she hadn't seen before.
"I'm sorry, can I help you?"
"Aaah, so soon do you forget your old Master. It must be the face. I keep forgetting it's new."
"Gallicia," she hissed.
"The very same. I take it you were not expecting me?"
He held his arms open, palm up and looked at her, the body he was in was of someone younger and definately not the Khanid monster she remembered. She watched as he sat down on one of the long comfortable chairs and gestured to his empty glass.
"Not doing a very good job are you?"
Pride took over and she selected a bottle, from memory she cursed, one he liked and poured him a glass, then pouring herself one.

"What are you doing here?"
"I was invited to the party."
"I didn't notice."
He smiled and savoured his wine, making himself more relaxed and pointed to a nearby chair. She sat.
"Would you have changed anything if you had seen?"
"No. I no longer fear you."
"I know, you have your own Mistress. You are quite the good little slave girl now aren't you?"
Draining her glass she refilled it then placed it on the table.
"Did you come here to laugh at me? At least as her slave I'm not brutalised. The way you treated yours was nothing more than barbaric."
"And yet.... you survived. All those years as my slave. The horror.... the brutality.... the humiliation...."
"I beat you Gallicia. I escaped you, I made myself free."
He laughed freely and took the bottle, refilling his glass then hers.
"You always did know how to make me laugh, little snake."
"You laughed when you had your butchers take me. Or when they beat me. A thousand punishments and a thousand laughs from you."
She turned her face away and looked at the doorway, willing Ithiria to arrive, or Victor... or anyone.
"And what did you do with your freedom? You gave yourself to a slaver, a holder.... let her collar you."
"You wouldn't understand."
"Oh I understand. You were born a slave, and you will die a slave. You don't know how to be anything else. Look at you, you were freed, given wealth, opportunity and you wasted it all. You could have become so much more, a real power dedicated to doing.... whatever you wanted."
"I am dedicated, I am free."
"Yes I saw how free when you were slaving away in the fields. Lashed for not working hard enough pretty much every day. I remember when you could go days without being punished when you worked hard."
Turning with a poison glare she looked at him and slammed her goblet down on the table.
"That's because you punished my friends, the other slaves when you couldn't break me."
Again, he laughed.
"Carmilla... Carmilla.... I broke you so hard you never recovered from it. That is why you kneel to her.... you'd kneel to any Khanid. You know your place, slave. On your knees serving us."
She paled and stood up and walked to the window looking out.
"Shut up, just shut up. Shut up. I do what I do for love and loyalty."
"Just like when you were my slave?"
"NO! I did that to stay alive, to survive."
He walked up behind her, humming a song, a song she remembered. Tears flowed from her eyes as she let out a sob, the song digging into her, it's notes dragging over her memory.
"You remember our song, no one else has perfected it since you. Sing for me, my little snake. Sing for me....."
"Gallicia, leave now. Just because I don't fear you anymore doesn't mean I won't try....."
Grabbing her waist in one hand and her throat with another he pulled her close to him. She felt his body pressing into hers, smelt his scent and felt the man in him. It was.... intoxicating to her.
His face moved close to her neck and he breathed in her scent, the delicate scents and perfumes. Beneath his touch she shook softly. He whispered in her ear, his breath hot.
"Is that fear... or is it desire... I should enslave you again. Then no one would laugh behind your back. Call you whore or doubt your loyalty. You put up with more being her slave than you did being mine. Why don't you just crawl into your pod and fly away. You could find some hidden place where no one knows you...."
"My Mistress needs me. She has never faltered once in looking after my needs, and I have always been loyal to her, even when....."
He blow air over her neck and felt her body reacting, heard the wine as it poured onto the floor and marvelled at what she had become. Her body was lithe and powerful, more so than before when she was his. His mind whirled at the possibilities of what he could do to her.
"I think....."
"Yes... " she whispered, visibly shaking now.
"I think that you torture yourself more than I ever could. Leaving you where you are is probably the most evil thing I could do to you."

He kissed her neck and let her go, watching her slump to the floor and turned and walked to table, drinking the rest of the wine and turning to the door. He stopped. Ithiria stood there, watching him, her sword in one hand, the sheath in the other.
"I didn't expect you here. Though I did see your name on the guest list."
He held his arms open, palms up.
"I am not here for you Ithiria, not even for your slave anymore."
"Really? What if I said she was up for sale? Property is after all... just property. Can lease her to you."
A glint appeared in Gallicia's eye.
"You want her back in my possession? You know what would happen. I'd show her the true meaning of fear again. When you got her back she'd be more docile, more obedient"
"I don't think Carm can be any more obedient to me."
"You don't know my ways. I heard she went through the rededication ceremony. She must love you a lot."
"More than you realise."
"And yet you've done to her, what you've done. Does she know?"
"She's been told. Hence the offer."
The two Khanid spoke to themselves quietly for a few minutes while Carmilla lay on the floor, curled up into a ball sobbing, wondering what it was she had done this time to anger her Mistress so.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


She sat in the dark, in the corner of the cell just listening. The steady flutter of the light that came in through the window was soothing and the shadows it cast danced along the wall. Outside she could hear them talking and to pass the time, she listened. She couldn't help but giggle.

"Who was she?"
"The wife of the chief overseer."
"He had a wife? I didn't know...."
"He doesn't anymore. It's complicated..."
"Where was she?"
"In her cell, her movements for the week are fully recorded, from the fields to the cell block. It couldn't have been her."
"She is a cat burgler in her spare time, when I give her spare time. Check the recordings, and the backups, and then check the machines. I want to find out who did this."
"Do you? What if she did it?"
"We'll come to that if it was her. Dismissed."

The cell door opened and Ithiria Deritan entered, closing it behind her. Her two guards stood outside. She pressed a button on her wrist-com and the lights came up slowly and sat down on the bed looking into the corner.
"I take it you've heard?"
"Prison gossip only, you can't trust it."
She patted the bed beside her and watched as Carmilla pulled herself up and sat beside her. After a few moments her head rested on her shoulder.
"The wife of the chief overseer was...."
"Crucified to the wall of the hanger bay. Yes, I know."
"Did you do it?"
"No.... I would have crucified him."
She chuckled.
"In truth Mistress, I didn't. Though it would be easy enough for me to get out of here if I had my gear. But I don't."
"Do you know who did it? Truthfully?"
"Making me a snitch now? No, Mistress... the security system should be able to tell you who did it. To be able to hack the system you'd have to know a hell of a lot about surveillance systems, the patterns of the guards, and you'd have to be able to nail her up without her screaming. Plus even nailing her up would cause the sonic sensors to trip. Whoever did it was a pro. And no, I don't think Ang did it."
Carmilla lifted her head and pulled a pack of tablets out from under her threadbare pillow and dry swallowed one.
"What's that?"
"Pain killer."
"The dispensary would never have let you take those away. How did you get them?"
"Kim gave me them. Yesterday."
Ithiria stood up and paced looking at the wall muttering to herself.
"How many times has Kim been here? Other than when I told her to come to you last week when you were beaten?"
"Every evening. Except last night."
Carmilla looked down at her feet and sighed then curled up on the bed.
"When can I come home?"
"You are home. Slave quarters are a slaves home."
"You know what I mean."
For a moment neither said anything. Ithiria stood up and walked over to the door and snapped her fingers, taking something from one of the guards and threw it onto the bed.
"Don't leave until after we catch who nailed her up. It'll only make you look guilty."
"Okay. More guilty. Take care of yourself Carm, and see the doctor tomorrow about your back."
The cell door slammed shut and she listened as they walked away, reaching behind her she pulled her bag to her and hugged it, smilling as she did.

The doctor was hunched over a desk when Ithiria walked into the medical bay. She didn't look up when she approached, just kept on working.
"Why did you do it Kim?"
"Why did you not do it, Ithiria? She's your wife."
Ithi pulled up a chair and sat down, tapping her nails on the desktop.
"My wife, my slave...."
"My daughter!"
Kim slammed her fist down onto the table and looked up, her eyes red with crying. Brushing her hair out of her face she sat up and looked at her daughters keeper and pressed a button on the console, a nearby screen flashed up.
"If I could have gotten him alone, I would have nailed him up. As it is his wife performed just as well."
The screen showed the actual security camera footage of the events of the night before. She watched as Kim brought the unconscious wife into the hanger bay and nailed her to the wall, then injected her with something and walked away. Ithiria looked at her.
"Delete it Kim. I'm not surprised you knew how to disable everything. I'm just surprised you let her live."
"My anger wasn't for her, it was for him. I hurt him a lot more than he hurt my Carm. Are you letting her go?"
"Once I've found the slave who nailed her up, Carm will let herself out. She's coming to see you tomorrow. Take care of yourself Kim. And her."
"Don't you worry Ithi, I look after all of you in my own way."
She laughed a low chuckle and watched as Ithiria walked out. Then reset the screen and watched again what she did.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Further trouble

Ithiria Deritan walked into the slave block flanked by two guardians, the click of their heels shockingly loud in the silence. Slaves looked out from the bars of their cells, a few bowed, more stood defiant, though it was a hollow gesture. Slowly, as she they walked by a low murmer of voices sprang up. The overseers let them talk, for them were much for them to talk about.

As she approached turned the corner into the wing reserved for the hard cases she heard the sounds of punishment and her heart pounded. Keeping her expression calm and unmovable she passed the security point and walked towards the cell where two guards were watching. They stood to attention as they saw her, but the sounds from the cell continued. Even before she stood in the doorway she knew what was happening. A slave was being beaten, quite badly by the sound of it, with the short slave whips her overseers used.

Inside the cell three guards were taking it in turns to punish a slave. She knew that something must have happened to push them to such extremes, either hospitalised or just an outright death. Clearing her throat she walked in as they stood to attention revealing the bloody form of her wife and slave, Carmilla.

Carmilla, bleeding from the lashes, covered in bruises was crying, prone on the floor.
"Explain quickly. What was the punishment for."
The head overseer, not phased by being in the presence of the Holder slipped his whip back into his belt and gestured to the figure on the floor.
"Holder Deritan. As per your instructions every slave on the estate was sent to the fields or the quarries today to work their quota. Every one was accounted for except this one. When it was told to report it refused. When my guards attempted to restrain it... it attacked them and attempted to flee. I subdued it and brought it here where it attacked me. I called for assistance, it attacked them too and escaped. Once we recaptured it, we subdued it. Properly."

Ithiria looked down on the beaten slave, screaming inside her head, wanting to pull her into her arms and comfort her. But the Overseer was only following his orders. She mused as she thought of how he had described her. It. Carmilla, an It. But then she was, officially she was a slave, bound and legal, before an assembly of Holders.
"See to it that word of this reaches the other slaves. I will not tolerate insubordination amongst them. There are no favorites amongst my slaves. Not even this one. If she gives you further trouble, I leave it in your capable hands."
She turned on her heel and walked out, feeling the gaze on her not only of the guards, but also the slaves. They knew who was in the cell, who she was, what position she held. She smiled openly as she walked out, seeing all of the prisoners bowing respectfully.

As they returned to the apc and headed back towards the mansion one of her guards turned to her.
"Mistress, I would never question you infront of your slaves or guards. But that was Carmilla, your wife. How could you treat her so?"
She sighed and patted her on the leg.
"Never forget my dear, that while I hold all of you dear, Carmilla has made the highest sacrifice for me. One that few have attempted, with good reason. Yes, she is my wife, and has a position of authority, but she is a slave first and bound to me of her own free will. She may regret it from time to time, such as today, but even if I gave her the access code to her collar she would not take it off."
"But that makes no sense."
"Talk to her. And maybe then you will understand. Infact, I'm ordering you to, in about an hour. Take Kim with you."
Ithiria closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Oh Carmilla, when will you learn that your actions will always have consequences. I love you for what you are to me, but make no mistakes my love, you are my slave and I am a Holder of the Khanid.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Raise shields, Captain?

The battered prorator decelerated into the orbit of the fourth planet, flashing out a brief burst of static then cloaked. From her place on the bridge Angelina looked out at the twin moons and waited. For the hundredth time she pulled out her orders and read them and scowled at them, as if the expression would change the words there.

You will make your way to the system indicated in your briefing, 3#33a. At the appointed time you will light a cynofield and inform the pilot indicated in your briefing it has been lit. You will remain on standby for 24 hours incase further cyno's are required. Pay grade for this is gamma, insurance rating is also gamma. Regards - TNT High Command

Waiting in the middle of nowhere to flash up a cyno for some mystery guest. Couldn't be a corp member, or an alliance member, she mused, there wouldn't be all the secrecy. Can you spell expendable, she thought as she looked out of the bridge window at the moons. Her chrono chimmed gently and she looked down. It was time.

"Scan. Report?"
"All clear Captain, nothing in system that I can detect."
"Decloak us," She took a datacrystal out of her pocket and handed it to the communications officer.
"That's the frequency and the pilots name. Contact him. Cyno up, eyes alert on those scanners. We're now sitting ducks."

The ship thrumbed as the cyno field swirled infront of it, strange forces twisting the space, waiting, weaving, pulsing with power. All through the ship systems began failing, then coming back online, until the cyno was closed, the ship wasn't going anywhere.
"Captain, we're picking up battle language on the frequency you gave us."
"Translate it?"
"Translations not a problem. The problem.... it's in system already, doppler shift is far too short."
"Not our problem. Transmit and stand by."
She looked over the various boards. The system was clear, no one was there.

The space above them shimmered and suddenly the moons were obscured. The gargantuan bulk of an Erebus Titan sat just infront of them. A few moments later carriers, dreadnoughts and motherships began appearing. All of them bearing the same alliance logo, and it wasn't hers. The ship was scanned, targetted and scrambled.
"God damn, why did it have to be them? Bloody Goons."
She spat on the deck as one of the tactical officers turned around.
"Raise shields, Captain?"

She closed her eyes and rested her forehead on the crystal of the bridge window, waiting for them to fire on her. Goons. Of all the people she had to open a cyno for, why them. But then, she mused, they are supposed to be our allies.
"No, it wouldn't do any good if we did."