Thursday, 29 December 2011

Intermission - World of Tanks

Just a break from the Eve blog :)

I have finally managed to get into one of my favorite tanks, the Jagdpanzer IV. And gawd it's been a hell of a journey as I don't bother doing one tree, I have several tanks going, as you can see from the bottom. But this one, I just love the look of it, and now I have it upgraded to nearly the max, only one gun left to get, I'm finding I can cope vs the tier VII, VIII and IX's a hell of a lot better :D Going to keep going on this one and get the Jadgpanther, the second most beautiful tank there is in game :)

Then there is my russian beast, the KV. I have a lot of fun in this tank, even though I'm not going any further. Dont like the other russian tanks, except for one of the tank hunters.... but can't be arsed as even though it kicks ass, I prefer the one above.

The only other tank I'm really looking to get is the Tiger, and maybe the Panther, but it'll take a lot of gaming to get it :) it's free to play and it's fun :)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Search for Truth

From the balcony of the hotel Carmilla looked down upon the bustling station city below her. She sighed heavily as she listened to the party behind her and shivered in the cold. The long red dress she was wearing was not much against the cold, but was fashionable, and her wrap was somewhere by the bar.

Looking up through the great crystal dome the trails of the ships coming and going lit up the sky. Most of them capsuleers, flying in heaven. No longer men, but gods, deities swept along by the wings of angels. So many years she had been out with them, but now, her mind was blank to those she knew..... as if she was new born. But it was still.... intimidating. And lonely.

An arm slipped around her waist and a man pulled himself beside her. She looked up and smiled. One of her new friends, a captain in Republic Fleet, all chrome interfaces and tribal tattoos. When she had first seen him, the interplay of the chrome pod interfaces and how they were intertwined fluently with the patterns on the tattoos were mesmerising. And now that she had seen them upclose, all over his more than perfect body, he was still mesmerising.
"What are you thinking of?"
"Oh, just thinking of all the things I'm going to do to you tonight."
He hesitated then laughed as he steered her towards the open windows and the party. It was a forced laugh, she realised, one he wasn't intending. She turned around and looked back out the window, but up this time. There, one of the ubiquitous news drones, ever recording, reporting and monitoring. I wonder....

As they walked into the party again she looked around, a smile on her face and she brushed her long white hair back from her shoulders. Again she played the game she played ever day. Two suits in the corner, heavy set slabs of meat, guards for someone, been watching her since she entered the station. Tall woman with the cats eyes and long nails, looking at her out of the corner of her eyes, in mirrors, every way except direct. Short gallente officer, long white fleet coat, fake arm and the constant scent of cinnamon and copper.....

At the bar she pulled out her quaffe box and slipped a vial into the applicator. Already she could feel the concentric waves of pain that were rolling over her like fog. A gentle pressure and relief settled in, that certain sharpness. A giggle as she put the box away and looked up at the brutor. He handed her a drink and she took it, knocking it back quickly. A faint acrid, yet familiar taste on the end, residue in the bottom of the glass.
"Dance with me? Make me feel wanted?"
He laughed, the corners of his mouth twisting into a spiral before he whirled her out and started to dance. The sound of the music, the laughter of the people in the room and the constanc cacophony of noise began to irk her and caused her to snap her head around to quick sounds. All around people were pointing at her and laughing, hook nailed fingers pointing, mouths filled with serrated teeth thrown back and laughing, cackling. Coldness caressed her body and she watched as red flowed over the floor and away from her.

The captain twirled her and stood back, laughing and pointing at her. When she stopped she looked down, her nakedness was on show for everyone to see. Fear gripped her, fear compounded by the drugs slipped to her and the effect of the vitoc and she ran, ran where the crowd seemed to chase her, out the window onto the patio.
"Fly, my pretty! Fly to safety! Spread your wings..... you slave whore....."
The words and laugher became less as she ran, hands over her ears, eyes closed and she hit the railing, tottering and falling.....

A band of steel gripped her right ankle and for a moment the building slammed into her, knocking the air out of her. The bitterly cold wind howled around her and for a moment she realised she was upside down, on the wrong side of the balcony, naked.
As she hung, not caring to look up she watched the city and wondered where the sound of fighting was coming from, then watched as people flew past her. Somewhere in her drugged mind she wondered why they were flying without wings, and spread her arms and flapped them. Slowly she started laughing and was pulled over the side and she looked up into the rather unfriendly face of one of the slabs. He looked down at her, she looked up at him, then clapped her hand to her mouth, bent over and vomitted all over his shoes. He picked her up and swung her over his shoulder and walked into the mess of the party and picked up her dress and her wrap while his partner opened the doors and walked out. Then she blacked out.

She awoke to the smell of hot coffee and stirred cautiously, her head pounding. Sitting up and holding a head to her ear to stop her brain from jumping out she sighed and worked out it was from whatever she had been drinking, rather than the vitoc. Opening her eyes she looked around and blinked. The slabs, and several other people, were looking at her intently.
"Uuuh... hello?"
"If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I'd never have believed it."
One of the slabs held out a cup of coffee to her and she took it, sipping it and making a face.
"God, that's rough. If this is some sort of torture device then I'll tell you everything."
Everyone laughed, but they stayed looking at her. As she looked over the faces, none of them looked familiar, though a feeling at the back of her mind made her believe she wasn't in any danger.
"Well, you do prefer tea to coffee. And I'm sorry."
"About what?"
"About your loosing your memory. If it makes you feel any better, even if you don't remember any of us, we are still your crew."
"How do you....."
"Oh come on. Like you would have even given that guy the time of day. Especially after what you did to him. They still call him gelding behind his back."
There was a sniggering behind them as the group began moving around and heading out.
"I can't believe it... I want my life back!"

She stood up and walked around the room, looking from case to case at the pieces of art that were around her.
"I know all this don't I? I mean, I'm supposed to. This all means something to me?"
"This is all yours. You acquired it all."
"What am I? Some kind of thief? For the love of whatever god there is out there, tell me what I am!"
The slab took her hands in his and led her over to a wall and he pointed up as a curtain parted revealing a life size painting. Carmilla looked at it and took a step back, her hand reaching up to her neck, a feeling at the back of her head, a powerful emotion. She shivered.
"Who is that?"
The slab looked up at the picture. It showed a young khanid woman, dressed in the robes of a holder, a look of tranquility upon her face, yet the artist managed to show the haggard look in her eyes. It didn't take away from the beauty of the woman, but it did show that there was more to her than it looked. Many times he had looked at this painting to try and think about what she was thinking, and always he came up with a new answer. Her left hand was resting on the shoulder of a woman kneeling before her, a naked woman, collared and tattooed. Her head was raised, a look on her face of contentment, a slight smile on her lips. She was looking up at the holder. Pride, love, respect.... all that was painted there. The chome collar at her neck proclaiming her place. He cleared his throat as he kept looking.
"That, my dear.... is your wife."
"But why am I like that? On my knees, collared and naked?"
"Because, that was where you wanted to be. That was where you were happy and content. That, Carmilla, was also your Mistress."
Silence. He squeezed her hand and sighed softly.
"At least, that is how we remember it. Things have not been as they were recently, even before your memory loss."
"I dont understand. I don't believe it, it seems unreal."
"Then maybe the place we are going to will make it seem more real. We are packing up here, the lads will take all this and we are going. I think after this evening we will be unwelcome here."
"Then where are we going?"
Before he could reply she turned around and looked behind her.
"Did you hear that?"
"That woman... I'm sure other people must be able to hear her. I can't be going mad. There is someone following me and whispering to me....."
"What did they say? What did they sound like?"
"....Seshala.... there is something there I need to see."
The slab frowned and looked at her.
"You sure your memory has still gone?"
"Yes? Why?"
"That... is where we are going. To your place."
Carmilla looked back up at the picture. Again, intense emotion ran through her head, powerful and intense. And still, she didn't remember.

It only took a handful of hours to load the entire contents of the offices and warehouse into the transports. All through Carm walked around and looked at things, read inscriptions, tried to remember. Anger was building up within her and as the last crate was moved out she looked at the empty rooms. Tears came to her eyes, but it was more from the whispers at the back of her mind than anything else. She walked out without looking back and followed the men to the transports.

For the whole journey she kept to her cabin and refused to come out. She had been given a list of her old passwords and the datatablet she found in the locker when she had come out of the cryo-chamber now gave out it's secrets. She read them, horror intermingled with shock, pride, sadness and, occasionally, revulsion. But above all it was noticed, that even to the last there was only love for her wife, Ithiria.

The knock at her cabin door awoke her from her daydreams and she opened the door and looked out. She smiled weakly.
"Hi.. are we there yet?"
He laughed and gestured with his head.
"We're in the orbital warehouse, a shuttle is waiting for you. There are people down there who have prepared and know you are coming."
"What people?"
"Your friends. You'll see."
"I'm scared...."
"No need to be. That's what friends are for."

Stepping out from the shuttle she looked up into the blue sky of Seshala. The fresh breeze from the ocean was rustling her hair and she breathed deeply, remembering the sensations. She walked down the path towards what looked like the entrance to the building. The structure was massive and in the old khanid style. As she cast her eyes over it she looked to the rear and gasped. She looked up and saw the statue, the vast forty meter tall statue of Ithiria.
"By the sacred moons....."
"It's good, is it not, Carmilla?"
A soft singsong voice appeared behind her and she turned around and looked at.....

I've had enough. This is pure torture, I cannot bear it.

And what makes you think you can escape?

This is my head, my brain, my soul if you will
She stood and paced up and down, somewhere in the distance the sound of thunder started rolling in
I will not go quietly into the night, not any more!

As if people care who you are
Slave... failure... even your wife has cast you aside

You are nothing, no one cares, no one notices

I am Carmilla Deritan!

The slave? The warrior? The poet? The miner? What are you? What makes you special?

The scream started low, but built up quickly. Glasses shattered, the great screen before them cracked and exploded....

Carmilla clutched her head and fell to her knees, a silent scream echoed in her ears. Images, visions filled her mind, her eyes. Memories flashed into being, echoes of someone else running her life. The silent scream ended and became a roar of anger as she shot to her feet and waved her fist at the sky and screamed blasphemous names at the sky.

When she stopped she took a deep breath and turned around. A petite blind woman wrapped in a crimson kimono was standing next to the slab. Both were smiling. She took in her surroundings and ran her hand through her hair as she bit her lip.
"What.... the hell....."
Turning back she looked at the little geisha.
"Whisper... what's going on? what am I doing here? And what the hell happened to my hair?"
The slab grinned and slapped her arm and pulled her into a tight bear hug.
"You're back! Thank everything... your back...."
Carmilla looked around a little bemused and sighed.
"God I feel like I havn't been myself... "
"You havn't.. not for a while."
"Aaaah, why does it always happen to me. Tell Ithiria that I'll attend to her as soon as I....."
"About Ithiria Carm...."
She turned back to the little geisha who had lost her smile.
"What about her... what's wrong..."
Scratching her neck she realised something was missing and patted her pockets with a look of horror on her face.
"Where is my collar... where is my bag? Where is Ithiria???"

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Through a Gossamer Veil

She opened her eyes, slowly

Cold marble under her back sent a shiver down her spine and she sighed and made a movement with her mind and was standing with a slight crunch

The room was as she left it the night before

A thousand vid-screens showed a thousand images, a thousand more were smashed. Crystal and glass shards littered the floor of the room that went on for miles in every direction. The screens followed a giant curve that moved over marble floors through gossamer walls of mist, over hills and through forests. Everything went on for miles in every direction, there was no curve of a planet, no wall at the far end of vision, there was just... infinity.


She sighed scowling.

With a blink she was clothed and walked around stretching and stopped at a table. The heavy blanket of sleep that used to take so long to get out of wasn't here. One minute she was asleep, then she was awake. That too caused her to scowl. She used to like crossing the boarder between sleep and being awake, a small victory in a day which could go either way. Now gone.

The table was laid for breakfast, a hundred plates of food were stretched out before her. As she had correctly mused before, almost every breakfast she had ever eaten was here. From the slave gruel to the steaks of endangered species. She didn't need to eat, she had found that out quickly enough, but habits are habits and she selected a plate and walked towards one of the screens and watched while she ate. Eventually, she mused, she would work out this place.

With a gesture of her mind she fell backwards into a large comfortable sofa and started watching what was on the screen.....

Carmilla lay down on the doctors couch and watched the dust in the air glimmering as it fell slowly through the beams of sunlight coming through the office window. Far away the star Rens shone like a jewl in the darkness, set against the dust clouds of the far off nebula. She tilted her head and watched as the window slowly polarised.

"How are you feeling today?"
She stretched slightly and looked up at the doctor. For the past week they had worked together to try and retun the parts of her memory she had lost. It hadn't worked.
"I feel good, Doctor. I seem to be dreaming a lot. Strange dreams, but I just can't pin any details down."
"We did monitor you last night and didn't notice any change to your sleep pattern, or excessive REM. All in all, you seem to be in almost perfect health. You do have an addiction to blue pill and to, I hate to say it, Vitoc. Luckily your medical records are complete and up to date, so I was able to give you the right amounts, of the right varients."
"Did you check my other clones?"
"That we can find, there is only one. It seems that when you found out you had been infected with Vitoc you destroyed them yourself."

She let the words sink in. So many questions, so much she needed to know, to find out. The answere were there, she knew, but hidden just out of touch, behind a gossamer veil.
"Why would I do that? Unless I thought I could have found a cure."
"There is no cure, and the one that people talk about is a myth."
"Regardless, it may have been that someone I know, who cared about me was trying to find one."
"Well they didn't. They can't. You can't find somethign that doesn't exist. I'm sorry if I'm upfront on this, but you have this for the rest of your life. Luckily for you it seems you have found your own way around this in public. I must say I do like your quaffe injectors."
"Is my other clone infected as well? And how did you find it?"
"We found it when we checked the logs and backtracked to your corporation station. I can confirm that you have been a member of the Red Federation for over a month and a half. Before that, as the record says, you were a Disciple, but that corp seems to have folded, the alliance broken up."
She rolled over onto her side and looked at the doctor.
"I dont remember any of it. I mean... I have skills.... I can fly all sorts of ships, but I can't remember doing it... and I dont' remember the vitoc.. or the quaffe."
The doctor took out a datatablet and began taking notes.
"Well what do you mean? Can you elaborate?"
"I pulled my details from various nets while you were away. I could break into your computer easily and then into the station net. I found records, details, pictures, movies.... rewards. But I dont remember any of it, not even when I try."
She sighed and got up and walked to the window.
"How many times have I looked at this view. Maybe not from here, but from other rooms in this station, or others. I dont know. It's.... infuriating. From what I've seen, I have a rich and interesting past, even if some of it seems unreal."
"There is nothing more I can do for you. I can only hope that in the passing of time whatever has caused this memory loss will go fade, or go away, or break. And you'll have your memory back."
"Maybe... this is all for the good. I mean, I'll have some learning to do, but every time I go to use my skills they are there. The potential is there."

She turned and walked back to the doctor and offered her hand. He took it and grasped it between his own.
"Doctor, I have to thank you. You've been most helpful."
"Aach, I have done nothing, I feel a failure for not doing more.... Are you allright?"

Failure, yes I can remember when I thought I was, when everything I did to keep her failed. And yet now, I walked away from her, and look what has happened. Can I take all the blame on myself? Or even a part of it? I failed her more than anyone will ever know

Carmilla shuddered violently and looked around her. The shivers down her spine as of someone walking over her grave.
"I.. dont' know. Something, a reaction a very powerful emotional reaction to what you said."
"Then there is still work to do... but I am not the person to help you it seems. Here, I have a list of places that I could obtain that you have been recently. Perhaps a visit to these places will stir some memories, and here, a list of people who you may have had interactions with."
She looked at the list on the datatablet he passed her and transfered it to her own.
"What if I don't like who I was. I mean, Vitoc is used for slaves. Was I a slave?"
"A capsuleer slave? I find that very unlikely. But it merits a search. There is another problem."
She sighed and walked over to a wall covered in pictures and traced her finger over the profile of a typhoon battleship.
"There are large parts of your past that I simply can't find. I've checked various databases, the entries have been wiped, scrambled, and in one case replaced with music. Someone out there doesn't want you to remember who you are, or what you were."
"Was I that hated? I wonder.... was I a monster?"
"Regardless my dear, for one such as yourself what has been done to you is a crime. Don't be surprised if security or the local police come to see you. If this can be done once, it can be done again."
"I thank you Doctor. Please, keep in touch if you find anything else. I think I'm going to go to the Eystur system. My quaffe-vitoc capsules are stamped with the local factory there. It's as good as any other place to start."

Eystur.... aaah yes my home away from home, when I'm not at Seshala. Go there next, Seshala. Seshala!

Carmilla stopped and turned to the Doctor with another shiver.
"Was there anything in those records about.... the Seshala system?"

Interaction? To something I shouted? Interesting...This is a screen to watch. Perhaps I am in my own mind, locked out and watching what is happening. A real, this is your life. It makes sense, this all this is my mind, the screens are my memories, everything that happens here is because I want it to.... so there must be a way out.

"Why yes, there was a delivery note for a consignment to go to a planet in the Seshala system. I transfered the details to you. Why? Do you remember something?"
She reached behind her head and massaged the pod interface ports, hidden under their faux-skin covering.
"Just a hunch... or perhaps a whisper from a ghost."
She looked into the mirror by the door and stared at her face, her one good eye twinkling.
"Regardless, when I am ready I will return..."

A ghost. Yes. Though maybe with me here to guide you we'll make less mistakes than we did before. I wish though... that.....

A hand reached down and touched her shoulder and a voice as soft as honey and as tranquil as the morning whispered in her ear
I am here, I will always be here

She reached up and took hold of the hand and sighed happily. The khanid woman slipped onto the chair with her and together they watched the screen. All around them everything else faded away until all there was was just the one screen and the chair.

When I am ready, I will return. I know how, I think. Regardless, this will be a journey of discovery for all of us...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Waking into Darkness

Three men sat around the table. Two were scientists, long white coats, datapads on hand with constant streaming reports, the smell of drugs and chemicals on them. Both were young men, but their eyes told a different story. The third wore white also, but a suit of immaculate smartness, a cane with a silver head and the pockmarks on his skin where skinderms covered pod connections. Brushing his hand carefully over his styled white hair he watched them, as a serpents watches its next meal. He smoked as they talked, and looked at what they had created at his behest. Even with his foreknowledge it did not make it less blasphemous.

"We need a proper test subject now. The ones before, they were all implanted by us. We need a proper one...
"An actual capsuleer," he spoke with venom in his voice, "One of the blessed immortals."
The white haired man nodded and stubbed the nic.
"A capsuleer I can get. I can get a hundred, or a thousand. All I have to do is mention isk and they will fall over themselves to get here. No... we need a specific test subject. For this... we need someone we know how they behave, how they act, we must have detailed files on them to prove it will work."
The venomous one snorted.
"That will take years."
The smoker smiled and placed a memory crystal onto the table before them. They both looked at it as if trying to determine it's contents from just looking at it.
"Lucky then that I have had several people under surveillance for just something like this."

A lighter composed of the symbol of the Serpentis came out of an inner pocket and he lit up another nic. Leaning back he watch them as they loaded up the crystal on the big screen and he saw the face on the monitor. The scar over one eye, the neck length white hair, the dark tattoo over her eyes. The look in the remaining eye, pure mystery. Her smile, slightly mocking.
"And who is this woman? This Carmilla D'morenta?"

The man got up and walked over to the wall screen and looked at his half sister.
"Some one dangerous. Some one who is predictable. And someone who won't see it coming."
Looking at his half sister, knowing what was going to happen, the hideous blasphemy that they were about to unleash upon her..... he smiled. He was, after all, Serpentis first, family second.
"And do we know where she is going to be? Is she that predictable?"
"Oh yes. She'll be in the Rens system, planet VI, eighth moon. The Brutor Tribe Treasury."
"How do you know? If they pick up on what we are going to do they will inform her and rescan the clones."
"I know... because I used the right piece of cheese for our test subject."

Hageken System - Lonetrek

The small fleet of frigates, destroyers and cruisers docked at the various bays in the station. Repair crews moved in almost immediately, trucks with ammunition and fuel already unloading, crews attending to their duties. In the midst, all across the stations pods were withdrawn from the ships and the pilots decanted. One such pilot, one of many in the Red Federation bathed quickly and then joined the others in the pilots bar. Clad in tight fitting red leather trousers and a quaffe t-shirt she walked in and thumped the air with a scream of victory.
"We showed those Blues! It's time to drink and celebrate!"
A chorus of cheers went up and the bar was thronged. The bartenders simply putting crates up on the bar and cases of bottles. By the time the last was taken from a crate the first bottle was empty already. The doors to the bar opened and closed softly as the FC walked in and looked at them all, a smile on his face. Several of the pilots turned around and cheers and the group saluted him, and he returned it.
"Okay quick break guys and gals. We're going back out in about twenty minutes. So make merry quickly! We earned it!"
With a bottle in one hand and a chicken leg in the other from the constant buffet Carmilla D'morenta sat down at a table with several other pilots. The group of them replayed the battle with oaths and curses and sound effects amidst copious amounts of beer and wine and spirits. Leaning back in her chair she looked at her datatablet, a message was blinking and she read it quickly.
She got up and headed over to the FC and slapped him on the back and slipped a beer into his pocket.
"I got to miss the next one. I got a contract to collect in Rens. Seems someone finally sold me a cheap Daredevil."
"Maybe you'll be able to keep up now, Carm...."
"... unless she keeps the handbrake on that one as well...."
"... Does she even have a pilots licence?..."
"Hey hey! I loose less ships than you do, compadre, and your damn head is so snaked out that your ships need three clicks to decelerate!"
They all laughed and she shook his hand.
"Get some for me, I'll bring you a bottle of that Matari Whiskey you like so much."
"As long as you keep away from the Khanid version....."
She lowered her voice, "Hey.... those days are over. You know me, little blue pill, little vitoc is all I need," she raised her voice, "That and an ac packing Rifter wrapped around my pod killing Blues!"
They cheered and as she finished her beer she headed out to the medical bay. On the way she pulled up several schematics for daredevil layouts and ran the numbers. It was going to be a good day!

As she walked into the medical bay she went over to one of the lockers and coded in her ID. Her clothes and equipment securely locked away she walked naked to the clone chamber and sneaked up behind the overseer, wrapping her arms around him.
"Guess who, Clay."
"I'd know your soft touch anywhere, Penelope!"
She thumped him on the shoulder and laughed.
"What are you like."
"Where you off to today, Carm?"
"Rens. Got a pickup to make and I'll fly it back. Twenty five odd jumps in a pimped out Daredevil..."
"Ooh, nice one," he checked his console," And looks like bay 17 is the closest one. See you on the flip side."
She slipped into the bay and adjusted the location of the hypo-injectors and laid back, nodding to Clay as he operated the control from the outside, feeling the pricks of the injector and then drifted into darkness.

Rens system, planet VI, moon 8 - The Brutor Tribe Treasury

The duty overseer sat slumped at his console, an erotic magazine in his hands. With a quick eye he could cover the many screens of his console and see any problems. Out there in the clone bays dozens of servitors were bustling around the new arrivals and those departing. His free hand went again to his inner pocket and felt the thick wad of notes that was there. A fat payout for letting some techs look over the technology. Typical, he sneered, always someone wanting to ferret out the secrets of Matari technology. Let they try, as long as they pay. Changing the page he grunted at the intermingled bodies on the page and licked his lips.

With a hiss of escaping air the clone tube seal broke and the glass panel slid out and up revealing the naked body of sebiestor woman. She blinked and stretched, stepping out of the tube and looking around with a very confused look. Other naked travellers passed by her on their way to and from the tubes. Still, she just looked around, at everyone coming and going, eventually she drew the attention of one of the servitors, a kindly looking old brutor. He put his hand on her shoulder and spun her slowly around.
"You okay, hay? You want some help missy?"
"Do... I know you?"
The servitor laughed.
"Me? I'm just here to make sure people get in and out safely. You okay? The lockers are down that corridor. Here, let me take you, whatsay?"
She nodded and let herself be walked down the corridor, none of it looked familiar.
"We get it some times, people come out and are a bit groggy. Best you get down to medical once you dressed, yesno?"
"I guess so. Where are we?"
He laughed again as they walked into the long gallery filled with lockers.
"Locker room. Now then, what's your name lass?"
"I... I dont know....."
She looked at him and gripped his shoulders strong enough to make him wince.
"By the moons, I don't know.... who am I?"
Walking down the line of lockers she looked at names on the little displays, then noticed a console against a wall and ran over to it, pushing a man out of the way. The kindly brutor moved beside her and pushed the man away as he tried to come back.
"Leave her be now, or I'll make an issue, yes?"
Running her hand over the console she brought up command screens from a supposedly locked menu and started sifting until she found the right ones and activated a function. A panel opened on the console revealing a palm scanner and a blood tester. Blowing the dust from it she placed her hand on it and squeezed. The screens ran a quick diagnostic then flashed up a picture and a small biography. The old man looked back at her.
"That's station security files. How in the pits of the pilgrims did you do that?"
"I don't know. It just seemed the right thing to do."
She looked at the picture. It was definately her, but with long black hair, and no tattoo. She read the name out loud.
"Carmilla D'morenta. That's who I am apparently."
Turning to the brutor she smiled weakly.
"Lets find my locker, then if you can show me to the medical bay I'd apprecaite it. Somehow I dont recognise this place, I feel blind, like my memory is clouded."
"Well lets get you dressed first, yesno?"

Looking into the locker she found her clothes, or at least she assumed they were hers. A crimson kimono with a large pale blue belt, high heeled boots and a small purse with identification documents. She looked at them, but it had a different name, Carmilla Deritan. At the back a heavy pistol and a discrete makeup bag and overnight case. Dressing she turned to the old brutor.
"Well missy, you sure look beautiful. You look like one of those Khanid Geisha."
"It's all I have here. Come on, take me to the medical bay. I want to find out what's wrong with me."
"Well then missy, take my arm if you will."
Together, they walked to the medical bay, again as she looked around, none of it was familiar. Though she didn't show it, inside, she was scared.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Your Move

The chess set was an old one. The pieces had been hand carved by a master craftsman, as had the board, from precious stones and metals. Intricate detail on all the pieces, even the pawns told a story on the chequered board that echoed through antiquity.

The last rays of the sun shone in through the window as it dipped below the horizon and for a moment caused the gem in the queens staff to glow with balefire before the lights seemed to fade all through the house.

Carmilla noticed the balefire in the staff and the fading of the lights and put the small glass she was sipping from back on the table and, after replacing a book mark, laid a small tome on the table by the chess set. Without looking up she smiled.
"Good evening, I have been waiting for you."

Across the table from her sat a tall dark figure, clad in a heavy cowled robe, a heavy scythe leant against the wall behind him, easily within reach. The robe nodded and a skeletal hand reached out to take the glass that had been set down by the opposite side of the chess board.
"You wish a game? To pit your wits against mine?"
"Yes. I have that right."
There was a throaty chuckle from beneath the robes.
"I will collect you one day, Carmilla, regardless you do know that?"
"Aaah yes. I have walked with you as a constant companion, but always just beyond your grasp. The Immortals dance with death but never give in to his demands...."
"Until now.... now you are dying. And there is no immortality for you. I can sense myself in you, writhing around you, an insidious death."
Carmilla picked up the small glass with the pale green liquid inside and swirled it gently, the ice cubes clinking softly. Aaah yes, Vitoc. The insidious death that is kept at bay by the daily dose of poison. Institutionalised bondage.

Carmilla set up the pieces on the chessboard and placing two pawns in the palm of her hand offered them to the figure before her.
"So what are the stakes for this game?"
"If I win, you die."
"And if I win?"
The robed figure just laughed, outside there was a howling of dogs and the lights in the room dimmed, though on the chessboard it seemed more illuminated. The robed figure took the black pawn and placed it on his side of the table.
"Let is see how the game progresses. But I dare say you'll get what you wish for.... if you win."
She placed her pawn on the table, her move made. Her acceptance of the tems made in that move.
"Then let us play. Your move...."

Friday, 21 October 2011

Time Enough....

Wrapped in a long heavy fur coat Carmilla sat on the porch of the small hunting lodge and watched. She watched everything, the stars glittering to her from deep space, the glistening ball of the planet and it's larger moons. Across the darkside of the planet the tracery of lights indicated the presence of population centres, the occasional flare in the sky as ships ascended or descended through the atmosphere. All visible in the crystal clear air of the moon she was on.

All around her the trees were covered in a coating of snow, the floor thick with it as well, save only where the carriage had travelled. Several hours earlier she had heard it arrive, the sound of doors opening and closing, and the departure. Now, all was silent.

Night fell before she stirred and made her way inside, the lights had automatically come on as the sun set, and the sparse heating of the other rooms had begun. A well stoked fire was already in the grate and the warmth was penetrating, welcoming. Sitting in her chair she saw the terminal was flashing with stored messages. She ignored it, and closed the screen down and saw the letter.

Pulling her gloves off she slipped out of the coat and poured a glass of wine, settling down infront of the fire to read. She recognised Mona's handwriting.

My Dearest Carmilla,

From the little time I have spent with you I know that you have not bothered to read the messages that are on your terminal. But I know you will be reading this.

You will have to forgive me sneaking out as I did, for I could not face you, all my resolve would have melted. I have been summoned back, my duties as your guardian are.... no longer required. And from what I understand.... you have been exiled. Never more allowed back into the Disciples.

I can't claim to understand why you did what you had to do, or why Ithiria reacted the way she did. But it is not my place. And I must do my duty.

We all must follow our own paths, you have chosen yours and I can do no less than follow mine.

Your friend,

Mona Deveraux

Carmilla read the letter several times before folding it up and replacing it in the envelope. Walking over to the terminal she flipped up the screen and looked at the flashing icon. Two messages. She ran her crimson nails over the keypad and gently pressed the purge button. The two messages dissapeared. Closing the terminal again she picked up the book that was resting beside the terminal and settled back into the chair by the fire.

Far far away in space, the pilots of her new corporation were fighting, the call to be there was strong. But first.... there was the fire and the book... and the wine. Time enough to fight, time enough to die.

Time enough....

Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Road Ahead

Clad in her paladins armour Mona Deveraux looked fierce, the gloss black of the armour, the heavy blade on her back and the pistols on her hips. However, even with the attire, the scowl on her face and the anger in her voice, Carmilla did not care and was unrepentant. Her torso and arms were buried in the rear sensor array of the Coercer class destroyer she was building.
"You can't do it Carm. Espcially not without telling your wife. She has a right to know."
"And she'll find out..... pass me a molecular bonder please?"
Mona looked around and picked up the tool and handed it into the hole in the ship then knelt down beside her.
"It's not right Carm."
"I have to do this Mona. But look on the bright side, you're coming with me."
"Me?" Carm smilled at the shock in her voice, "I'm not compounding your...."
"Your job is to guard me Mona and make sure I'm not a silly cow getting kidnapped, assaulted, arrested, shot, killed or a number of horrible things."
"But you are leaving your corporation!" The wail in her voice belied the look on her face.
"Yes, but I'm not getting divorced... or giving up my collar. So I still need you. Anyway... look upon this as an adventure."
"Huh, I know all about your adventures Carm. I'm not sure it's a good idea."

Carmilla pulled out of the hole and closed it, flaring up her welding torch and sealing the hatch. For the time it took to seal the hatch, smooth it down and buff the armour to a high sheen they were both silent. Mona looked across the bay, dozens of ships were here. Frigates, destroyers, cruisers, even the vast hurricanes at the far end. All of them had been built, either in part or directed by her ward. How long had she planned this?

She watched as Carm handed the gear over to the workers who were fitting in the weapon systems and making the final checks. Frowning as she watched the old orange robbed priest walk to the front of the ship and seemingly shake something at it, Carm with her head bowed. Piety? From the Destroyer? She shrugged and by the time she had walked over he had moved onto the next ship.
"What was he doing?"
"Blessing the ship. I prefer to have it done to all mine before I go into battle. And all of these will be going into battle."
"You sure you won't reconsider?"
"Nope. Now come on, we have to visit the planet below. I need to check on my estate."
"You have an estate here? I didn't know about it.... nor did Ithiria if I recollect my list of your possessions."
"She runs an entire alliance. She doesn't have time to catch up with every little thing to do with me. That's your job."
Carmilla smiled. Mona didn't.

The shuttle ride to the planet below was quiet and as they departed the coldness outside bit deeply. Snow covered the ground and the trees, their breath came out in fierce clouds. Not far away from the shuttle pad a horse drawn carriage was waiting. Lanterns were being lit around the edge of the landing pad, and down the road towards the estate. Night was closing in, the stars coming out.
"You really do like to surprise dont you. Hand lit lanterns.... and that carriage doesn't even have an engine. "
"It does, it's a horse. It's called binky."
"How do you know?"
Carmilla frowned as she walked over and patted and rubbed the animal with familiarity.
"Because I called her binky. In the back hun...."
Carm and Mona sat in the back and the driver turned to them from the seat and handed them both heavy blankets with a smile.
"Here now, you both wrap up warm. And hold tight, the road ahead is cold and could be dangerous. More wolves have been sighted in the forest."
"Never a more true word said my friend."
Carmilla looked up at the stars and sighed, a mixture of happiness and sadness. One chapter of her life was closing, and another was opening. It would be a sad time to leave the Disciples, but needs must she mused. There were things that needed to be done and promises to be kept. She reached up and touched her collar, a gesture that Mona noticed, and she saw the welling up in her eyes.
"Carm...." Mona reached over and grasped her hand gently and squeezed it, "She'll understand. Few have been as loyal or dedicated as you have been. The road ahead will be dangerous, but you will never be alone. Ever."
Carm pulled Mona towards her and gripped her in a hug. The old driver looking around grinned and started singing an old matari folksong as the snow started to fall again and the carriage jingled towards the estate hidden in the depths of the forest.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Quafe-Noir Diaries

Carmilla Deritan sat down infront of the mirror and dried her new blonde hair while looking over her shoulder at Mona, her new guard and friend. Before her on the dresser, amongst the disordered array of makeup, lock picks and curios sat several vials of Quafe-Noir and her hypo-syringe. With a tired smile she presses play on the terminal to her right. A voice comes over the speakers, her own. Clad only in the gossamer dressing gown she sat down on the bed next to Mona and passed her glass over to be refilled.
"Thank you Mona... it had to be done..."

.....I have been addicted to many things in the course of my life so far. Love and Blue Pill the most.... deadly and fun. Khanid whiskey, fine foods, rare delicacies, like a glutton I sought them out. Hedonistic pleasures and debaucheries of the flesh. All these however you can get over and be free from.

Except maybe love.

This, however, my Quafe-Noir is insidious, deadly and more addictive than murder and theft. I know, I've done them both more times than I care to remember or reveal. It may even be the end of me, if my Mistress cannot find a cure. But I need to know what it can do to me. How it will kill me, if I let it.
But with this I can't let my self be recloned from this body. Then it will be eternal. I need to find a cure, or something before I can let myself be cloned.
(dry laugh)
Do you have any idea how difficult that is going to be? Let alone the dangers of being a damn capsuleer.... just life in general. I know I said before I like challenges... but fuck I think this is beyond even my grasps.
No matter... I have Mona watching me if I need her. She knows what to do if I get into trouble.
(click and squeel of recording)

Day one.
It has been twelve hours since my last dose. I can feel it. the pain. Radiating from me in slow pulses. Like the heart beat of the sleeping damned. If I concentrate I can ignore it. But when I stop... it floods back with a vengence. Maybe fighting it isn't the way.
Part of me wants to just take the next capsule and let the blissful contemplation of that slight prick and the pressure then the flood of clarity and well being that comes with it. The other part just wants to open up my veins and see if my blood is actually bubbling. That's what it feels like, funny that, actually... no it's not funny. Blue Pill gave me hallucinations, but at least they talked to me.....

Day two...
(pause, the sound of running)
I want to know what part of me pulses at this rate. I can find no neural or biological effect that pulses like this. Not my heart beat either, that has been going up and down like mad. And doing exercise or sleeping and resting... from one extreme to the other seems to halt the pain. But it doesn't stop me thinking. My mind is working overtime.
(pause and sound of drinking)
Thirsty too. But thats from the exercise, as I can't stand just lying around doing nothing. It's not me. I mean I could do it, but what's the point. I'd rather be working. Not that I can do too much work here. But I can exercise. I'm guessing that the amount of exercise I'm doing is equivalent to working in the fields. I can remember that from several months ago, was back breaking work.
What I have found is that I have to stop running slowly... if I stop suddenly then it hits. Hard. And then it takes longer to clear the pain away. So.. the more and longer I work.. the less pain I feel. Those bastards. Those ingenious bastards.

Day Three of.. this hell... my veins feel like they are transporting molten lead around my body. I hurt in places I didn't know existed. Each breath seems like a hardship, each step is agony. Lying in bed is all I want to do, it hurts the least, but I am too active, I keep moving around. All I can think of now... is an ice cold quaffe... or my quaffe-noir.... how do those poor bastards cope?

(Screams, long and drawn out fill this section before heavy footfalls can be heard getting closer)
This is Mona Deveraux. By day four Carmilla was in constant agony and had to be restrained. Medical treatment has been given, as well as a dose of...
...this Quafe-Noir. Some time in the night she attempted to scratch out her eyes, luckily I was able to restrain her, no permanent damage done. Bleeding through eyes, ears, nose, some basic cellular damage, nervous system was given a shock which quite frankly I'd be surprised she recovers from.....

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Back Routes

She heard the sound before she opened her eyes. A long slow beating of the air, a dull throb of... something behind it. The scent in the air old and musty and just a tinge of oil, machinery and old summer evenings.

The pain swept out from her in concentric circles, pulsing with the beating of her heart, and by infintesimal increments, each pulse was a death sentence.

Beneath her she could feel a bunk, the matress old, worn into the shape of bodies smaller than hers. Over her a blanket that had seen better days by the feel, and she noticed by the smell, was used regularly. Still overhead she heard the slow beating of the air, slower than the circles. With a slight effort she opened her eyes to the room.

The fan above her was behind the tarnished and rusted grill. Light from somewhere beyond cast it's shadow over the bed she was in, and for a while she watched the blades turning. A memory flittered across her mind, several memories. Aft deck, sub corridor C, passenger quarters. Hoarder class industrial. Throwing back the blanket she sat up and rubbed a hand over her face. She flinched as her hand touched a bruise on the left side of her face and slowly she felt the other little pains. On automatic she staggered over to where the facilities were, her bare feet feeling the cold of the floor grating. Pumping the water in the bowl she splashed some on her face and sipped some. With a grimace she recognised the taste of water recycled far too much in a system that had far too many flaws. But, it was water and cold.

In a locker by the side of the bed she found the rest of her clothes, not noticing before her nakedness. Pulling on her her clothes she rolled her head then pulled on her boots. Her bag was under the clothes and she opened it and reached in, pulling out a long sealed medical container which had 'Quaffe' etched into the surface. With practiced ease she rolled in the combination at the base and opened the container, the front pulling back and inner mechanisms pulling the contents out. Several rows of cold vials, all stamped with Quaffe-Noir sat in their little chilled compartments, and beneath them a smaller black case that she opened with the flick of her nail. Taking a vial she slipped it into the hypo-spray from the case and pressed it to her neck, feeling the slight prick and pressed the stud, the vial contents shooting into vein. Rubbing her neck softly she sighed, and smiled and giggled softly before shuddering and flicking her eyes open.

Repacking the case she slung her back over her back and went to the door. She felt the throbbing beneath her feet, even through her boots and rested her hand against the wall. The engines were stressed, pushed to full power. Looking up she noticed the lights were dimming, the power being drawn away from the unnecessary systems to power the engines and shields. In a crate like this there was only one need for that, and as she opened the door to the quarters she felt and heard the screams of metal under stress as the first shots hit. As she ran she could hear the other passengers, some crying, some praying, some, she grinned, screwing. Well, it could be their last moments. Why not.

The bridge of the hoarder was cramped, the modifications made over the decades of use had taken more and more space. Sitting in a cramped seat Mona micromanaged the power as she headed to the jump gate. Already she could see on the monitor that the target was coming back for a second run. Looking over she saw her second cough up his last breath and fall silent.
"God damned puta! You don't fall apart on me now!"
Warning lights flashed as the ship came in and fired again. The port side shield flared and died and she triggered the aging generator, trying to coax the recycle. Slowly it started to rise, but it was too little. Couldn't use the booster properly as it would take power from the engines, and speed was all this bucket of bolts had. More than it was supposed to have for a ship of this class, but not enough to outrun the attacker.
"Mayday, mayday! This is the commercial transport Burning Desire, we are under attack by unknown ship. Please respond.... for the love of god please respond....."

Carmilla stood at the door to the bridge and listened to the voice and listened. Looking around she noticed the damage and the dead co-pilot. She had seen others on the way down, screaming and running to escape pods. Desperation. And a pilot whose only desire was to save her ship. She smiled a knowing smile. Now that was something she could relate to.
"They won't respond....."
Carmilla blinked at the barrel of the pistol as the woman spun the pilots chair.
"Who the frel are you? Get back to your cabin, I'm trying to fly here."
"On your own? Good luck. But like I said, they won't reply. They'll think it's a pirate trap."
She walked over to the co-pilots seat and pulled him out, strapping herself in. The pilots pistol still pointed at her. Ignoring her she looked over the controls, the readouts, and tapped a few.
"Stop pointing that at me and fly. I'll see what I can do here."
"Oh... you're that hopped up puta Max picked up at the last stop. What kind of a woman pays her way with her body.... you sick lady. You need help."
She whispered under her breath as she slammed her fist into the console and jarred the connection, bringing up the scanner. "Dont' we all, lady."
"Rifter class. You got any weapons on this tub?"
"An old autocannon, only fires forward though. The relays need replacing."
"Does it have ammunition?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Yes... now leave me to fly, we're almost at the gate. Transmit the recognition code, blue console."
Carm looked over at the pilot, the strain on her face intense and input the code.
"You know he'll catch us on the other side. We may not be as lucky as we have been."
"Well what do you want us to do? There is no concord here. No gate guns..... and my escort was blown away three jumps ago. Lady, you're lucky you're not out there sucking vac!"

Carm pulled up the navigational chart and looked at the system, then powered up the scanner and pinged. She watched as the information flowed in. Three asteroid belts close by, seven moons, three planets, one a gas giant. And a second gate. Pulling up the energy signatures in the area she started. It was a chance, a thin one, but a chance. The hoarder shuddered as the rifter fired at them again and overshot. She tapped the screen and fed the details to the pilot.
"Get us there. Once we're in warp let me drive."
"Let you drive my baby? What makes you think a dopped up slave bitch can fly better than I can?"
"Let me make you a deal. I get you out of this I'll buy you a prowler and retrofit it however the hell you want."
"Sheeet, that cost more money than I've ever seen. Where you get that?"
"My bank account. Failing that I'll steal it. Regardless, I have a plan."

Behind her eyes, far far away the pain returned in soft circles, like a gentle caress on her soul. Damn you Gallicia. Damn you for giving me this curse. Are my memories not pain enough that you make me suffer now for eternity?

The Rifter pilot turned and came in for the kill. He had been toying with this old transport, but now he was convinced it was no trap, it was time to take it. With a mental thrust from his pod he sent the activation code to the warp gate, on the other side he would catch it and destroy it, then sift it's wreck for anything of value.
"Odd," he whispered in his mind as he watched the gate, the transport going underneath it,"Why hasn't it jumped."
He cursed as he watched the hoard warp away, and matched course and jumped after. Arriving several clicks away he locked the target just as it activated the gate and shot deeper into space. With a mental cry of rage, at the potential of loosing the target he followed.

"This is insanity. Why did I let you talk me in to this...."
The hoarder coasted, power down and spun slowly, dead in space, only a little power running to keep minimal life support going.
"God save me from people like you."
"Save us both. Here they come."
Shapes appeared out of the darkness and approached the tumbling ship. From the bridge windows they could see the shapes, strange, alien, deadly. Rogue drones. Sensor fields flittered over them and weapon systems locked them. They could see the lights on the front of the nearest drone, like the eyes of a demon from hell as it approached, closer... closer. Then suddenly they turned.
"Aaah, our friend the rifter has arrived...."
Mona watched from the turning bridge as the rifter shot past them, all of it's weapon systems firing, the rogue drones following it, trapping it.... destroying it. She stopped the spin of the ship and watched as the drones webbed and scrambled the ship, their flailing attachments tearing strips from the hull, lasers cutting away sections. It was a terrible thing to see.
"Lets go before they notice us. It's not like we want to do anything for him. He'll wake up in a station when he dies. We wont' be so lucky."
With a shudder the hoarder warped to the celestial and then after a minor course correction headed back to the gate.

It took several more hours to reach a station, the damage done to the ship had been more extenisve than they had realised. Standing on the docking platform they both looked over the ship.
"Thirty years we been together. And now I can't afford repairs. The cargo bays were blown out, and I can't replace the cargo. Or the passengers, I dont' think any of them survived. Not a good trip."
"Hey, Mona. We walked away from a pirate attack and some rogue drones. Survival is easy. It's a fight you never give up on. Anyway, like I said, I'll get you a new ship."
"You dont have to, puta. I don't need no charity."
"Carmilla. My name is Carmilla."
Carm turned to Mona and looked at her. Standing there in her stained pilots jumpsuit with the arms tied around her waist and a grubby teeshirt covering her chest, several dogtags and necklaces around her neck, she looked so small. So insignificant. Human, she mused. Not capsuleer, not imortal. One life. Kind of like me at the moment.
"Come on Mona, I keep my end of the bargain."
Pulling her they both walked towards the elevators and stood before the end one, the chrome one."
"I dont' have clearance for that, I'm not a capsuleer."
"Dont' worry...." Carm placed her hand over the scanner and watched as the door opened, "I am."

The hotel room was the best on the station. Carmilla spared no expense and it was obvious that Mona had never seen so much luxury. The room itself was larger than the cargo bays of her ship. After she had showered and cleaned Carmilla watched the little gallentey woman enjoying a massage.
"Why did you need to buy passage on my ship, Carmilla? You could fly your own."
"Sometimes I like going the back ways. Besides, I needed to get away for a while. To get out there and find out what I wanted. To find out if I wanted to go back to what was waiting for me."
Reaching into the bottom of her bag she pulled out a flat black jewellry case and opened it. Sitting nestled in the black velvet was a chrome collar. Running her finger over it she saw the door to the room open and three people walk in. Mona, too engrossed in her massage hadn't heard.
"And what was waiting for you? Was it worth it? Your voyage of discovery?"
A new voice spoke out, crisp, cold, pure khanid. Mona jumped, her hand instictively reaching for her hip and her pistol. The two paladins pointed their weapons at her, their faces hidden behind enclosed helmets. Mona watched as the Khanid woman walked over to Carmilla and withdrew a sword. With a speed that defied even the watching paladins Mona ran and stopped infront of the woman, pushing Carmilla back.
"Back off lady, she's with me."
"Actually, my dear sweet little morsel... she's with me."

Holder Ithiria Deritan looked at the woman before her, smaller than her by a good foot and wiry, and even though she was holding a sword in her hand, showed no sign of being afraid. Carmilla placed her hand on Mona's shoulder
"Mona, allow me to introduce you to Ithiria Deritan, Holder of the Khanid Empire."
"Charmed. Now back away, you don't scare me."
Her hand reached out and grasped the bottle from the table, smashing it against the edge and holding the broken glass towards her.
"Mona.... Ithiria is my wife. She's been waiting for me."

Mona looked back at Carmilla, who now had a chrome collar around her neck and back to the khanid woman. The look on both their faces, one of love and longing.
"I.... I'm sorry..."
"No, dont' be sorry, Mona is it? You stood up for her even though you didn't know who she really was or what she was. That is something isk can't buy."
She looked at the broken glass and dropped it on the table.
"I will get dressed now and go. I'm sorry for threatening you...."
Ithiria turned her gaze from Carmilla to Mona and held up a hand.
"Please, get dressed, but stay. You are our guest. Carm, help her please."
"Yes Mistress."
Carm slipped her arm around Mona and steered her towards the bedrooms. Ithiria watched with a smile as they went, not listening to the whispered frantic conversation between them, just watching.

They stayed at the hotel for several days, and at the end Carmilla took Mona down to the docking bay next to where her ship was laid up. As they entered Mona looked up at the ship handing in space, a Prowler class transport. On the front, the ships name had been painted. Burning Desire II.
"You have a choice now my dear. Either we can retro fit it so you can fly it on your own as you flew your previous ship.. or you can fly it like I would."
"I'm not a pod pilot Carm. I'm just... me."
Carmilla handed over to her a folder, stamped on the front was the Deritan seal.
"This is our gift to you, for your friendship. We are sponsoring you for the Capsuleer program. All it needs is for you to say yes."
"But that... this.... it all costs....."
"Mona, friendship is worth more than isk. And when you stood before Ithiria and her guards with nothing but a broken bottle stem.... told me all about you that I needed to know."
Mona flung her arms around Carmilla and hugged her tightly, tears in her eyes.

Later that day Carmilla followed Ithiria onto her ship and they departed. The journey was taken in silence, with neither speaking to the other, only looking at each other. There were no words to be said, the look in their eyes said it all.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Awaken to Despair


.... oh it's no wonder that you lie there with your eyes open looking up at the ceiling with that almost bovine stare. You are little more than cattle, you know it, they know it, you have lost your way. Soon someone will come, but will it be to lead you to safety or to hell? If it was me, it would be to hell. You have done nothing but serve when you should have been leading. You are everything that is wrong with the festering darkness that blights this hallowed land. Given the power to roam the stars what do you do? Kneel. Kneel and kowtow to the people who enslaved you before you were born. It doesn't matter that she is better than the others, she is who she is. Nothing can change that, and better people have tried. Tried and failed. Failed like you failed time and time again. Failure. FAILURE. FAILURE!"

Click Click.

Carmilla shook herself awake and sat up, sweat streaming down her face and looked around. Scared. Startled. Afraid. Breathing deeply she looked at the tubes snaking into her arm, listened to the gentle beeping of the machines that were watching her. Slowly her anxiety began to fade and she slumped back into the bed. Automatic systems lifted part of the bed so she sat up and she shuddered violently.

"Hello?" she spoke with a dry whispering voice,"Is there anyone there?"
A door opened, casting light into the room and a woman walked in. She was tall, a kindly looking face just too plump to be called thin, the roll of her hips and the way her uniform fit indicated something to Carmilla'd mind, but she couldn't place it. So familiar, yet so.....
"Nice to see you awake, my dear. You've been asleep for a number of days."
"Where am I?"
"You are safe. The secure medical facility you were brought to after you passed out in the club you were in. Several people have been looking in on you. Quite a popular patient. Feel like eating something?"
Carmilla shook her head.
"Just a drink please?" she shook her arm jingling the tubes,"These are good for the body, but I need something. My mouth is as dry as the third quarter drought that hit our Masters planta...."
She frowned and shook her head. Where did that come from? The third quarter drought... that was so many years ago. Back when she was a slave on the plantation, before Gallicia, before... everything... The nurse looked at her with a kindly smile and offered her a plastic beaker of cold water.
"Well, I'm sure you have some happy memories of that place. But here you are and don't drink too much. If you need me, hit the red button, and if the pain gets too much, hit the blue one."
Carm put the water onto the table beside here and smiled her thanks as the nurse walked out.

As she lay in bed she looked up at the ceiling. It was blank, and yet she could see so much in that blank sheet of pure white. How did I come to think of the plantation? That was so many years ago. Put to the back of my mind, locked behind door after door. Things no one knew about, things I hadn't even told Ithiria or Relana about.....


....It was a good time wasn't it. You were happy, you and your sisters and your family. Serving your Master. You obeyed and you were treated well. Obey. Obey your Master....

Click click

....that I was happy. Things were so simple back then. I was happy and I obeyed. There was no refusal because.... people got hurt when I did. Always when I do something wrong, people get hurt. But I can change... can't I?


.... always people get hurt when you disobey. It's because of you that they were punished, or worse. How many punished for your indiscretions? You cant' count it can you because there are so many....

Click click

What have I done? How many have been punished for me..... no please, the memories hurt... the pain is too much to bare. Don't make me see their faces.....

Carmilla opened her eyes and looked up. There was a face on the ceiling, a woman, Celina! No, not Celina, she was dead..... no. She reached her hand up to block out the face that was on the ceiling looking at her. Closing her eyes she tried to breath but found she couldn't, something was stopping her, panic started to rise in her and her eyes flicked open. Celina was still there, the slave she worked with on the plantation, getting smaller as she was dragged away by two guards. She shut her eyes and screamed.

The nurse walked into the room and turned the lights on, sitting on the side of her bed and grabbing her hand, rubbing it and looking at her with concern.
"It's just a nightmare, my dear. Nothing to worry about. Just a nightmare."
Carm pointed to the ceiling.
"She was there, I saw her. Just like before, being dragged away....."
She pulled her self into a foetal position but the nurse gently stretched her back out.
"Now now my dear. I told you before, if you are in pain, hit the blue button. Okay?"
Carm nodded and looked over seeing the blue button, reached over and touched it. The cool plastic feeling more real now she could feel it. Turning her head she looked at the nurse. Tracing the curve of her wrist, past the star tattoo to her sleeve and the rest of the jacket. The bulge of her breasts and the suspicious shape at the base of her spine, tucked into her skirt that could only be a weapon. Suspicious, but probably necessary. One of Literia's nurses no doubt.
"Thank you nurse...."
The nurse adjusted one of the drips, smiled and returned to her station, flicking off the light switch.

At her station the nurse returned to the neural display. It took a while for her to fall asleep, even with the increase in the sedative she had just given. Somehow she was fighting still. An amazing subject she thought to herself, even with the constant vitoc dose and the hallucinagens she still had access to her own reality matrix. The screens started decoding the subjects dream and with a keen eye she read them and smiled, reaching up with the small controller and clicked it, then spoke into the microphone.

"You will betray them all, like you did before. You will sell them all out to save yourself. Everyone you care about you will see die because you will betray them. You will betray everyone you love. But you can stop that.... take your blue pill... take your vitoc.... be a good slave and obey. Always obey.... obey...."

Literia slammed her fist into the top of the receptionists table and reached over, lightning fast and grabbed the front of her tunic. The scarred woman cringed as she was dragged forward, her face an inch away from Literia's.
"What do you mean she was moved? I didn't give you permission to move her!"
"But... but...."
"Where did they take her? Who took her? God damn you talk to me!"
Lit let go of the woman and picked up a pen that was on the counter and started rolling it between her fingers.
"It was the nurse, Samira. She came in with the paperwork to move the patient. It was all above board! Here.... check!"
The nurse moved practiced fingers and pulled a small bundle of papers and handed it over. Lit looked it over and scowled. It looked authentic, but the destination was a handwritten scrawl. Illegible.

Carmilla lay in the bed watching the nightmare unfold before her eyes. Figures danced across the ceiling, the white turning red as the blood from her victims as they begged and pleaded and bled. Her finger was pressed so hard on the blue button that it shattered, the concoction of narcotics pouring into her system was fast approaching overdose levels. From her station the nurse watched the bio-screens and fumbled for a hand held hypo, selecting a heavy sedative. As she got up a sound made her turn back and look at the screens, they all flatlined. Looking up through the window the bed was empty. Her empty hand reached around and pulled out her pistol and ran towards Carmilla's room. She had just raised the pistol as she looked into the room when the cylinder of oxygen slammed into her head knocking her out.

She leaned against the wall and looked down at the nurse. The neon blue of the uniform flickered on and off, picking up the pistol she averted her eyes, the glare getting too much. Staggering down the corridor she blasted the lock from the door as it screamed at her, it's mouth opening to let her in. As she fell through the mouth and into the space beyond she stood at the back of the throat and looked down, the darkness below flared with flashing scents of lavender and engine oil, sharp and crisp like a morning fire. Dropping the pistol she laughed as she leapt forward, diving down the throat and into liquid blackness.

Ithiria Deritan sat at her desk when her terminal flashed. Reaching over she tapped a button and read the message on the screen. Her eyes widened as she read the message.

To: Ithiria Deritan

From: Station Security - Sisters of Eve - Rens

Your wife was recently discovered in a critical condition in our station after a severe fall from a luxury hotel. Unfortunately due to her apparent lack of clones she is now in intensive care. We request you come and pick her up as she is disturbing some of our other patients.


Lucinda Devaraus, Head of Security

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Medical, Get to Medical

Carmilla lay on the bed in the medical bay, Literia standing beside her, holding her hand. Carm's shallow breathing and rising temperature was a worry, as was her collapsing at the bar. The doctor walked over to her and beckoned her away.

"What's wrong with her Doctor?"
"A few things. Is she yours?"
The doctor pointed at the collar around her neck that they had been unable to take off. He noticed the temperature drop sharply.
"No. She is not. She is a good friend. Whats wrong with her?"
"Well.. where to start? She has a trans cranial microprocessor, it's an advanced model, like nothing I've seen before."
"Remove it."
"I'm not sure I can. But I'll try....."
He looked at the list and ran his finger down, Literia swipped the datatablet from his hands and sat on the end of the bed and read it.

Blue pill abuse, levels in excess of safe limits. Potential for sever hallucination and memory infringement.
Subject is experiencing stage 1 vitoc withdrawl symptoms.
In addition vitoc in her system is not one of the known varients to come out of Amarr in the last six months. Type unknown.

She handed the datatablet back to the doctor and looked down at Carm. Vitoc! Of all the things she could be inflicted with. This couldn't be her Mistresses work, not from the way Carm was always talking of her. She thought back to how she was in the bar, looking at shadows, checking out everyone who was coming in.

Standing up she buckled the sword onto her belt, marvelling at the feel of it.
"Force her to clone jump. Then destroy this clone. Report to me when you are done."
As she walked out the doctor sat down at his desk and sent a data request on Carmilla's clones. He frowned at the reply he recieved.

At this time Carmilla Deritan has zero active clones. Warning. It is recommended to clone this capsuleer as soon as possible.

Turning his head he looked at the woman on the bed and sighed. This was not going to be an easy conversation to have.

Sunday, 28 August 2011


Carmilla Deritan walked in and sat herself at the bar. Although just a transfer point, the small station, little more than a collection of warehouses, com-habs and hangers floating in space, it possessed one of the more interesting bars she had been in. Wind Force 12.

The bartender walked over to her and smiled broadly, his features pure caldari, his voice a mishmash of everything.
"What's your poison?"
"Khanid whisky, the good stuff. Where's Alphone?"
"Al? Oh he had some trouble, took a few hours off."
He walked over to a locker and pulled out a bottle and poured a glass placed it before her. She slipped her credit jack into the bartop and breathed the aroma in deeply.
"You sure this is the good stuff? Has a strange smell..."
"That's Khanid for you, but try it. It'll take you to heaven."

She looked at him, the way he said heaven rang a strange bell in her mind. Maybe it was just the way he seemed to slip into an Amarr accent for the word. Shrugging and noticing the time she knocked back the drink and coughed.
"By the maker... what was in that....."
Shaking her head she coughed again and breathed in deeply. Every nerve in her body tingled, a warm rush reaching from her stomach flowed out in every direction, she moaned softly as it reached certain areas. Holding onto the bar she shuddered as an orgasm rushed through her and a euphoric feeling the likes of which she'd never experienced before. Gasping she pushed the glass over.
"Another... make it a double."
"Better not, your connection is leaving soon."
"Damn.... make sure that bottles here when I get back..."
She giggled and started laughing and swinging around.
"God damn, that's good whisky."

Running and then skipping to the door she ran out and towards the liner taking her to Khanid. Behind her the bartender walked into the back rooms where the other bar staff were on their knees, hands behind their heads. Three troopers in black covert ops suits were training their weapons on them.
"Mission accomplished. You three, out now."
He dropped a large stack of isk notes onto the table.
"We were never here. If we find out you talked about this you'll be on the next slave transport to the ass end of the Empire."

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Something on your mind?

As she walked through the station she recognised a change. People moved out of their way to avoid her, others greeted her with false friendship and insincere smiles. She knew what it was, she has seen it all before. From the other side. Because of what had happened, they now saw her as one of them.

Now, more than ever, the sound of someone behind you spitting sounded as it was meant to sound.

Some punishments, she mused, were real. Others were not so. This one, I did not deserve this. I did not deserve this!

I saved her life didnt I? Dead she would have been just another dead holder, alive she is a slave. And we can all see her where we are.

No they said, you are no longer where we are....
You should have rebelled, no matter the pain, no matter the cost. You should have stood with us!

And betray my wife? Betray my Mistress?

Fool! Maybe now you can see, when you are despised by slave and Holder alike, that you cannot have both. Perhaps you should have listened to what Mizh.....

Carmilla awoke from her nightmare screaming in anguish. All around her it was dark, the clammy sweat on her body made her leap out of the bed and run into the shower cubicle. She turned on the water, not caring that it was cold and sat in the corner shivering.

When she felt a bit more awake she turned the shower off and sat down on her chair. Rubbing her eyes sitting at her dressing table wearing just a t-shirt and her underwear she looked at the mirror. Her hair was growing back, but was taking too long. Oh it was easy she mused to jump into a clone and come out with a full head of hair again. But this, she touched the scar and her eye, would be gone til the next jump. And this reminds me of what is important in life. This reminds...... a flash from the mirror caused her to turn her eye and..... click

The body of Carmilla froze solid while she looked at the mirror. Several figures opened a hitherto unknown door into the room and walked in. All four of them were clad in nondescript covert ops blacksuits.
"We have three minutes.... get to work."
Inside her mind Carmilla screamed as her body stopped functioning as she wished. It was as if she was inside a prison cell inside her mind, smashing her fists against the wall trying to wake her up. She watched as sensors were placed on her body, readings taken, a syringe, two, three injected into her body in various places. Sensors placed on her head, readings taken. The people nodded to the forth.
"Lock the door. I think we have time for some fun before we go. No.. keep her null, this is for our pleasure, not hers. Stupid bitch."
Two of them picked her up and threw her on the bed, quickly stripping her. Inside her mind, Carmilla screamed as was violated.... click click

... looked at the flash and noticed nothing in the mirror. Must have been my imagination, she mused. Must be tired, shower. Shower was a thought on her mind, overpowering in its insistance. Walking naked to the shower cubicle, something in her mind made her look around. Her underwear was lying on top of her nightshirt, the bed needed to be changed, the scent in the air... was I with someone last night? Something... nothing... so tired and sore... nothing that a good hot shower wouldn't cure.

As Carmilla showered away the unknown violations of the night she thought only of what the day would bring. Perhaps today would be the day, yes. Today. First she had to free her, then head to Khanid, and then.... her appointment with the chamberlain at the Khanid Council.

Inside her head Carmillas screams faded to an insubstantial mistyness as a warm and fuzzyness filled her, her agression fading, only obedience remaining.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


A tall figure walked quickly through the Basilica, a heavy silken wrap around her head obscuring her face and drapped over her shoulders. She wound her way through the other faithful who were at the cathedral and stopped momentarily to listen to the singing. Stopping at a font she reached out a hand, running her fingers through the water and making a sign on her forehead with her finger. Those nearby could hear a few muttered whispers from beneath her cowl and walks under one of the archways into a secluded alcove.

In the alcove an old man sat wearing heavy robes and looked up from a pile of old manuscripts. He smiled as she walked over and knelt before him at the small rail that lead up to the altar he was using as a desk. Walking over to her he held out his hand, a heavy golden ring with a religious icon graced his finger.
"Hello, my child. It has been a while."
Carmilla Deritan removed the scarf from her head and bowed her head and placed a kiss upon the ring.
"Hello your eminence, it has been far too long. You are looking well, your studies proceed I hope?"
"Carmilla," he chuckled and pulled a stool over to the railing, "I like to think I have known you long enough to know when something is troubling you. It is rare that you come to me for spiritual guidance. I wish you would come more often."
She smiled and curled her legs under her and waited while he walked around and pulled the curtains over the alcove and pulled out a stool and sat before her, taking her hand in his old calloused one.
"Come on my child, tell me all....."

Two days previous - Peshar's Bane

Carmilla Deritan docked at the main landing bay in Peshars and picked up the bag and slung it over her shoulder. She breathed in deeply as she walked down the ramp, noticing with a smile the old musty smell had now gone, the air recirculators now fixed and working. With a laugh she spotted Brute and bounced over, wrapping her arms around him, making him sway.
"Hey lil lady! Hey, what happened to the eye? And the hair?"
"Brute, Ooooooh I missed you!"
"What you doing back? I thought you were given a one way ticket to Khanid?"
"I was, but like I'm going to leave this place and you and the crew. You're family now, so dont' you forget that."
Several of the others came over and grins split faces and hands slapped her on the back.
"So what you doing here, babe?"
"My Mistress informed me Relana had requested me. I have a new slave to break in apparently..."
Brute laughed followed by the rest of the crew around them. Carm looked at them with a confused expression.
"What's so funny?"
"You'll see. Though if I'm honest Carm... I don't half wonder if this isn't some sort of punishment for you too."

Carmilla stood before Relana in a submissive stance. Her old Mistress walked over to her and ran her hand over her growing hair and traced the line of her scar.
"Things have changed since you were here last...."
"Life has been a bit exciting, yes, Mi'lady."
"Has your Mistress told you why you are here?"
"Briefly. I have a slave of yours to work on. Other than that...."
She shrugged briefly, her mind wondering now why she had been chosen, wondering about Brute had said.
"Relana. Am I being punished for something? I mean...."
She held up a hand and touched Carms lips, then took her hand and walked out the door.
"In a way... yes you are."

The Holder and slave walked down the corridors towards a room which had a long queue of people outside of it. From inside screams and cries could be heard. Relana looked on impassively as Carm shook slightly. The sounds inside stopped and two men walked out, grins on their faces and laughing. Two more walked in, this time a man and a woman, shortly the sounds started again.
"What's going on Relana?"
"Yes you are being punished Carmilla, courtesy of Ithiria. You are to take over the keeping of the slave behind these doors until we decide fully what to do with her. You can use any method of punishment you want or need. In essence, you will be her Holder."
"I cant' do that. I'm a slave. More than that I wont' do it."
Relana grabbed a handful of Carm's hair and pulled her towards her face, the smiles gone only a cold stare.
"You will do as you are ordered or we'll have you strapped to the table next to her and I'll promise you a thousand deaths and each one more painful than the last!"
She walked them over and kicked open the door and thrust Carmilla in to see what was in the room. A faint cry came from Carms lips as she saw Alizabeth Vea strapped to the table in the room, naked and heavily abused. Two guards stood watching and the man and woman who had come in before stood back, heads bowed as their Mistress entered.
"This is the slave you have to break. I'm sure you recognise each other."
Alizabeth's cry was music to Relana's ears.

Carm looked on for a minute then shook her head and pulled out her communicator and whispered a few words.
"She is mine to do with as I choose?"
"Good." She pointed to the guards and every other person in the room," Everyone out! Now!"
The door opened and Brute pushed his way in.
"Brute, everyone except you, me and Aliza leaves this room," she looked at Relana," no exceptions."
"You dare..."
"My slave, my rules."

Brute unstrapped Aliza and taking a medical bag started to treat her wounds quickly. He looked up at Carm with enquiring eyes.
"You see what I meant Carm? About being a punishment for you too?"
"Yes. I see it now. Oh Aliza, what happened?"
She sat on the end of the bed and listened as she was told the story. The arguments in The Summit, the execution of the slave, the threats of war, the forced removal of Aliza, her enslavement and the corps change of direction. By the time she had finished Carm was looking at her with a hateful look in her eyes.
"Why that look Carm? You've done worse than that. Far worse."
"Yes, I know. And I've paid my dues. But so did that slave."
She stood up and brushed off her jacket and slung the bag over her shoulder.
"I think you Holders sometimes forget that the slaves talk to each other. I knew that slave you executed. Quite well."
With quite whispers she talked with Brute for a while and walked to the door, opening it and looking out on the angry faces beyond. Turning to Brute she looked at Vea and didn't smile.
"You have ten minutes Brute."
Aliza tried to say something as Brute grabbed a hold of her arm and wrenched. The sickening sound of muscle and tissue tearing as the arm was dislocated was nothing compared to her scream. Carmilla closed the door and faced those infront of her.

Folding her arms she stared down the angry slave force while behind her the screams and sounds of furniture breaking continued. Oaths and cries and threats were thrown at her and she stood there watching as more and more became silent.
"If you dont know why I'm here then I'll tell you. She was my friend to, and she died at her hands. But death is too good for her so I'm going to make her suffer. Me. Not you. And you all know me, know what I can do."
"You'll go easy on her! We know you bend over for Holders..."
"...Give it a week and you'll be back kneeling before her...."
".... Give her to us, we'll show her some real pain..."
"Enough," she shouted,"None of you have any idea what I've been through and I'll not take Vea down the roads I've been dragged. But mark my words, she'll pay. Pay in blood and pain and anguish. She is now a slave, like us. But less than us because there isn't one of us here, me included who hasn't felt her lash or been subject to her...."
More of them went silent as the sounds behind the door were familiar, they had all heard them so many times before. When the guards had taken them, or the Holders, or the pushers. Slowly they looked at Carmilla. Her slave collar was gleaming brightly, the look on her face, no longer one of anger, but one of pain and anguish. The screams coming from the room beyond, could almost have been coming from her mouth. Slowly the crowd dispersed until only Carmilla was left, leaning against the door frame openly weeping.

When the ten minutes were up she walked back in. Brute was sitting on the end of the bed, Aliza curled up in a ball, a look on her face that many of her slaves had once owned.
"Pick her up gently, lets take her to the infirmary. Is Kim still there?"
"Yes," he said as she picked up the brutalised woman in his arms, "She has a collection of heads in jars. She's a real spooky lady."
"Yes, she is. Runs in the family I guess."
She brushed a strand of hair from Vea's eyes.
"Now you know how we feel. And I'll teach you how we feel until I think you understand. I'll teach you to be a slave. I'll teach you hope, and I'll teach you hate. I'll teach you real submission and how to please. By the time I've finished with you you will understand what it means to be free. And at this moment I've never hated you more than I do now for what you've made me become."
And in her mind she could hear the mocking laughter of a sebiestor fanatic. As she touched her dead white eye she realised things would never be the same again.