Sunday, 30 January 2011

Tribal Sin

Carmilla D'Morenta ran down the corridor dodging the gunfire from the republic fanatics, firing back when she could. Across the causeway Leopold and Misha were under a similar attack. They had expected them to be waiting outside the station, not outside the Tribal Sin bar.

She fired a few more shots at them allowing Leo and Misha to break cover and run across the bridge to her.
"Goddam... who are they?"
"Republic Police.... they're probably after me..."
"You're shooting cops?"
"Well.. shooting back.. they started, but I bet we get blamed for this! Get to your dramiel and get it powered up my ships all ready, I'll cover your escape...."
She ran back to the elevator leading to the landing bays and covered them as they approached and fired a few more shots and slams the doors shut.

As they entered the landing bay they saw the group of republic police looking over the Dramiel. As a group they ran for the Panther 'Zinc Alloy' and met a geisha at the bottom of the ramp.
"Whisper, get Carli over to that Dramiel and get it cracked when the police leave. Meet us at the Geisha House."
The Geisha smiled and summoned a small woman and the three of them entered the ship. She ran to the command deck and slammed into the chair.
"Get us out of here. Ignore docking control, take us out on manual."
Docking control to Zinc Alloy. Power down your engines and prepare to be boarded
"Ignore it. Punch it and don't crash into anything...."

The Panther pulled away from the docking bay and maneauvered through the station and out into space. Police Cruisers were waiting, targetting almost as soon as the ship left the station.
"Cyno locked on, can jump when ready."
"Hit it!"
With a scretch of metal under stress the jump engines whined and projected the ship several light years away to the desolation of the Amamake system. She scanned down the system and noticed the people in local. None of them friendly. They laid in a course back to Seshala and activated the cloak as the ship jumped, mere seconds after several ships converged on the now doomed cyno ship.

A few hours later with the ship in orbit Carmilla, Leopold and Misha shuttled down to the Geisha house with Whisper. The Geisha headed off to prepare and Carmilla was left to show them around.
"It's not much, but it's home to me and my Mistress when she's here. And until your ship arrives, my house is your house. There are bars, pools, and the ocean."
"You are far to kind. And thank you for getting us here."
Whisper returned with two bottles and a tray of glasses and started to pour out the shots.
"Now, I belive we have some drinking to do."
Misha looked at them and laughed as they started knocking them back.

Lot #701

The Aeon 'Slaves Despair' was watched by countless people and countless ships as it appeared at the cyno just off the station, flanked by two archons. For all who were invited the slave auctions would begin as soon as the cargo was unloaded and the Aeon safe. Shuttles and transports moved back and forth from the mothership under watchful eyes. The disembarking of the cargo took longer than usual, though after an hour the Aeon and it's escorts engaged their warp engines and departed.

Their departure was seen as the signal for the ships to dock and make their way to the various rooms, warehouses and events that had been setup. 'Slaves Despair' was always an anticipated venture as she never failed to bring the most sought after slaves for the block. The auction sheets that had been dispatched to priority buyers had drawn many in, and transmitted images of many of them were available. As ever they were segmented, Minmatar, by far the largest with over five hundred lots, gallantee and caldari only a hundred or so each, and even a handfull of amarr.

Amongst the buyers who were in the main function room sipping champagne and checking the catalogues an obscure holder walked slowly around, smiling to those she knew and nodding. Her long skirts just touching the floor, and the decorative armoured corset inlaid with golden Amarri sigils proclaimed her rank and status, though not as much as her aire of nobility. A thin silken cloak with her house emblem ran down her back, and caressed her figure. She stopped at a railing and looked down into the pits. Acoustical barriers prevented the cries and the screaming from the slaves from disturbing the viewers pleasure, though secretly she yearned to hear their cries almost as much as she yearned to be making them cry out. Slaves had their place, regardless of their breeding. Once a slave... always a slave.

As she looked down, trying to spy out the caldari section a man stood beside and looked down as well.
"You buying?"
"If something is worthy of my time and effort. I need a challenge."
The man chuckled and turned around leaning back against the railing and folded his arms. She look at him, taking in the pitted scars of the side of his face, his arrogant look and his classic Khanid frown. A small serpentis pin on his collar seemed to indicate his allegiance.
"And what are you doing here? Business or pleasure, mr?"
"Tavrook, Gallicia. I'm selling here today. Lots three fifty to three seventy. And you, Miss?"
"Marika Sato, Holder of the Khanid, chosen of... blah blah... so many titles. You selling any Caldari?"
"No, I only deal in Minmatar. Caldari are too much trouble. Though you might like Lot #701. She's Caldari and a real hell cat."
"You know her? What are the chances of that mr Serpentis."
"Oh.... we have history, 701 and I. She's cost me a lot. Actually wasn't expecting to see her here, I thought she was out give tongue baths to Goons."
Marika flipped through the catalogue on her datatablet and brought up 701. She smiled and licked her lips. Caldari. Cute. Ex-pirate. A finger traced down and brought up her name.
"Angelina Ballentyne. Lot #701."
Gallicia laughed, a most evil laugh and took two glasses from a passing waitress, handing one to her.
"Here. Lets drink to us being on top and them on the bottom, where they belong."
She took the glass, clinked and drank while looking at the lot description and smiling.

In the cells below Angelina paced up and down the cell she was in like a wild animal. Lashing out through the bars. The others in the cell were huddled at the back, fearful not just of the wild caldari but also of the others outside the cells. Guards outside just laughed at them, occasionally striking out at her. But none of them got too close, that had come from experience.
"Please, don't antagonise them. If they notice you things will go worse for you."
Angelina turned around and spat on the ground, her nakedness not phasing her in the slightest.
"It's okay for you. You have one life to live and then you are dead. I have countless, my suffering will be legion compared to your pitiful life."
"You sound like they do. Selfish and uncaring....."
"I'm wanted by all four powers as well as holders.... and of course I'm selfish and uncaring... I'm a pirate...."
"No.... just a slave."
Angelina screamed and grabbed the bars looking up at the higher tier and those who would soon be bidding on her.
"We are free men and women! We are not slaves! You will never break us! Never!"
One of the guards laughed and jabbed foward with an electro-prod, dangerously modified and slammed it into Angelina's side, throwing her back into the others. The other prisoners edged away from her and waited out their time.

Marika made her way to the auction hall and took her chair, noticing Gallicia a few chairs down. Smoothing out her skirt she sat down, sitting straight up and opened the catalogue. On the dias before her a young minamater girl, a burtor was brought out in chains and dragged to the centre.
"Ladies and gentlemen... welcome to our monthly slave auctions. I hope you are all ready to bid? We have a wide variety of slaves for you tonight. Minmatar.... Gallentey.... Caldari... even a few Amarr....."
He waited while the applause died down and smiled.
"And the pride of our auction... for which we do occasionally have... the rarest of the rare.... the jewel in our crown... A capsuleer."
The assembled host went silent for a moment, then cheers and oaths filled the air, feet stamping on the floor. She picked up her catalogue and flicked through trying to find which one when a hand took it from her. Gallicia flicked to a page and handed her his own, dropping into the seat next to her.
"Lot #701..... They don't mark it in the catalogues incase it arouses too much suspicion... and it makes the auction so much more...."
She looked over his copy finding much more information. Sellers it seemed had access to more information. Checking it over she nodded smilling, this was what she wanted.
"She will be mine.... "

Hour after hour the slaves were paraded and bid on. Single slaves, couples, even entire families. Marika watched on with rising anticipation, not caring about those who went before, not even noticing the other caldari who appeared and waited for what she was after. She was not to be dissapointed. Five guards dragged a kicking and screaming slave to the dias. Chains from a collar around her neck were attached to rings on the dias. All around looked at the lithe female form before them, the tattoo on the left ass cheek, the capsule ports on her back and arms and neck.

"Lot number 701. The prize auction! A capsuleer, so you'd better know how to keep her because once she leaves here that's your problem. An impressive pedigree in this one, she is fit and healthy, has a good set of lungs on her as you can hear, and is breedable. She is a pirate, affiliated with the Guristas. A mass murderer, a heretic, wanted by the Amarr, the Caldari, the Gallentey and the Minmatar. And best of all.... she hasn't been broken....."

Marika listened to the rest on autopilot. She had made her decision, this slave would be hers. She would break her. Or kill her trying. Again... and again... and again. As the bidding went on Angelina hurled abuse and pulled at her chains. All music to the ears of the bidders. Eventually it ended with a slam of the hammer and the jealous gazes of those beaten and a howl from Angelina.
"Sold, to Marika Sato."
She turned to Gallicia and smiled.
"Do you want to come and see my new slave close up? I'm sure it would amuse me. And you."
Together they laughed as they were led backstage.

Marika walked into the cell with Gallicia behind her, watching her new slave. She was naked and chained from a corner of the room, her hands behind her. Now, she was gagged, and the fire in her eyes when she saw them both made Marika shiver with delight.
"Oh you are a pretty one, and the fire in those eyes. I see now how much of a problem you are going to be. You don't know your place. But you soon will. Won't she Gallicia?"
"That she will. And if she's half of what her sister is you are going to be very happy with your new slave."
He looked Angelina in the eye. Could taste her hate.
"I guess I'll have to visit her again and taste those wares. I'm sure she misses me. Dont you think?"
"She has a sister? I wonder if i can have a matching pair."
Her scream, even behind the gag was loud and could be heard even after they closed the door and walked towards the nearest resteraunt.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Midnight on the Firing Line

Hello Great Wildlands! This is Rocking Ricky, bringing you another slice of audio heaven in stellarcast brodcasting across the region, into the next one and beyond! As ever we have music, news, hot gossip and all the sounds that you rave about. But lets start off with an oldie, this is Chromium Oxide Rifter with Shiny Love....

1st Instance...

Carmilla sat at her dresser deep in the Geisha House, head in her hands weeping. Before her on the top of the dresser there was a box that was opened, inside glinting in the light was her downfall. A chrome collar nestled in a silk wrap. Whisper sat beside her, her arm around her comforting her. At the door several other Geisha looked in, perplexed.

She wept, the chrome circle burning it's way into her mind. There because of what she did. Removing the emotion chip, bringing Ithiria back, she knew there would be consequences. But this? Before it was easy. The love, the lust, the feeling of belonging, the knowing. To serve someone so strong and place them above all others. A more pure love she had never known, so pure she had married her. Slave and wife.... Then just wife.

After all the she had done being discarded had been the ultimate failure. More scathing, more painful than anything Gallicia had done. Even the burn from the plasma torch when her collar had been removed by force was less painful. And yet, now, here with the collar before her, she found she couldn't put it on. Angelina was right, the last few words she said before they parted in anger, words that even Ithiria didn't know about had come true. So bitter that they echoed the words that Mizhara had said so long ago.

Never take that collar off, my dear sister, or allow it to be taken from you. For if you do when it is given back to you, you'll not want it. Freedom is a natural state, and we Minmatar are realising that it is our true birthright. Freedom has to be fought for. People are fighting for your freedom, just as people are fighting for my enslaving. One day you will realise why I must flee to the ends of the universe to escape my fate. One day, you will forgive me.

She was right. They were both right. And yet, they were both so wrong. And yet she looked at the collar and weeped for soon she would have to make the decision and either way, she was damned.

Of all the places I like to go and hangout and eat there are few I enjoy more than 'The Broken Piano'. You see people from every walk of life there, mostly friendly. Caldari navy sitting with slaves, Minmatar patriots rub shoulders with Khanid slavers. Sure, there are the occasional tussles, but mostly it's a relaxed place. The beer is cold, the food is hot and we are reliably informed there are no ladies of pleasure in the back rooms. A waste if you ask me. Lets spin some air with Murasama Lady and Neon Radiation Burn....

2nd Instance....

There was a sharp sound, of a blade being sharpened on a whetstone. The woman watched the security camera footage. It was a pirated feed and there was static. But she could hear every word. Snick. They were there, the man and his contact. Emotions were dulled by memory, but memory was tainted by desire and loathing and hatred. Snick. She listened to his words, as they spoke in the hotel room. Listened with fear and anger. Snick....

The blood dripped onto the table as she listened to the two of them arguing, the blade having cut a deep gouge into her hand. He had said it, what she had known to be true, but confirmation was required.

Placing the blade down she wrapped her hand in a bandage and looked at the picture, then pulled her terminal over and began tapping away. A stream of access denied came up on the screen as she tried various attempts to hack into the security system. Eventually she accessed what she was after and looked at the name. It was the same, the bounty hunter had returned and his contact had said two names. Two names that meant they both had to die. Gathering her things she handed them to her assistant and pulled out a grenade. As she left the room and stood at the door next to her room she pulled the pin and kicked in the door. The bounty hunter spun around and reached for a weapon as the contact looked at her and screamed and pointed.
"Its her! It's Marika Jobias, the reaper is back....."

The grenade landed in the middle of the room and exploded, throwing the bounty hunter and the contact back against the walls. Flames and smoke filled the room as Marika Jobias, also known as Doctor Kim Leannder, and known by few as a genocidal madwoman walked in and closed the remains of the door. Two shots in the forehead took care of the bounty hunter and then she looked at the contact, crawling along the floor, her entrails dragging behind her. Kim's assistant was busy covering the bounty hunter with fuel and setting alight to it while Kim stood on the contacts guts. She screamed and turned around.
"I wasn't going to tell him!" she screamed "I swear on the Empire!"
"But you did. You told him my name. You told him my husbands name. You gave him my daughters name!"
With every sentance she stamped on more of the guts eventually letting her foot rest on her neck. As the contact writhed in unbearble agony she lifted her foot and dug the stiletto heel into the base of her throat with a thrust. She watched the blood well over her boot and the eyes flicker and slowly die. So her assistant couldn't see she pulled a box from her pocket, placed it beside the head and pressed a button.
"I thought you were going to keep that one for your jars?"
"No, just burn them both. Then I'll burn their offices, their homes. I'll check on their closest friends and family. I may find a head there for a jar. Finish up here, I'll be next door cleaning up."

Kim Leannder walked into the next room, leaving bloody footprints where she walked and stripped off all her clothes, leaving them in a pile and changing into a tight fitting flight suit and strapped on a heavy backpack. Looking in the mirror she smiled and wiped some blood from her face as she heard the whoompf as the room next door exploded, the screams of her assistant loud as the box opened spraying a volatile chemical into the air, coating everything nearby and catching fire. She didn't see him running from the room in flames and over the barrier, falling over the edge and down the side of the hotel, but she heard his dwindling screams. Moments later she left the room and pulled out a small transmitter as she too leapt over the edge, triggering the explosion that tore apart the hotels foundations, letting the whole structure shake and moan and then finally crumble into what would be coined a terrorist attack. The parasail opened from her backpack and she flew over the city for a while, occasionally turning to see the pyre of flames that was the hotel.

She laughed into the night as she spiralled downwards, another who dared to tell people who she was dead, and hundreds with them. One never stops being a monster to protect the ones you love.

So once again the Goons are taking the attack to the land of the IT. Whole fleets of ships and capsuleers are heading down to a fight that could spill out for regions on all sides. Well, we've seen this before, we've seen how it ends. As the old saying goes, war is hell. I can remember when the Goons were just a bunch of low tech wannabes who literally flew a cloud of rifters. Now they have titans and super carriers. One can't help wonder if they have grown up as they have gotten older, either way the war is a long way from here so lets hear the sounds of Noctollis Billy and the Salvage Queens, I'm going to tear out your reactor core.....

3rd Instance....

Angelina Ballentyne woke to darkness. She remembered the recent events, helping the cruise liner escape, her ship being destroyed and being dragged into the bay of the Nightmare. Once again it seemed she was in the hands of people who wanted her for some reason. Feeling down her body she was naked, the floor was metal, as were the walls when she found them. Through her stumbling around in the dark she found a bunk on one wall, a thin mattress and a pillow.

If they want me, she mused, they can wake me. Lying down on the bunk she looked up into the darkness. Why does this always happen to me? Is this time to change my lifestyle? Was saving that cruise liner the force I needed to do what is right? She drifted off to sleep.

"She did what?"
"She went to sleep. Took a few moments to find the bunk, then she laid down... and went to sleep."
"I thought I told you I wanted her kept awake and offbalance."
"You did sir, but I had higher orders. When she found out that we had her here, she told us what she wanted done."
The adjutant handed over a datapad and saluted. The Captain of the Nightmare looked at it, then over at the optic on the wall that was a link to the pod that ran the ship. The capsuleer was watching, godlike from her pod. He read the instructions again, and saluted the optic.
"Post extra guards outside the quarters and I want that corridor locked down. And get us back into the wormhole. Take us back to the barn."

In her sleep Angelina dreamt of the old days, of piracy and fire and death. It was an unsettled dream. In the pod in the centre of the ship, the capsuleer watched the pirate sleep. So strange to see her here. Life, she mused, was so unexpected at times.

And so that wraps up another evening of musical delight from Rocking Ricky as the old chrono ticks aroudn to midnight. As you fly off into the blackness of space, and dance through the nebula remember this. Life is fleeting and no matter what you are flying you will loose it one day. Everything dies, but the music lives on. This is Rocking Ricky signing off as I head over to grab my battleship and join my corp members on the firing line and safeguard our territory, remember if you see me in space, dont' shoot. The music may never die, but I sure can!

Saturday, 22 January 2011


Rakapas system - 07:52

The pilgrim 'Denial of Interest' hovered two hundred away from the Home Guard Assembly Plant. Sensors licked out from the ship as it hid under it's cloak. Somewhere in the area the backup covert ops frigate was waiting, also cloaked up. Integral systems in the pilgrim, backed up by those worked by the crew worked on everything of interest. The locations and courses of comets, asteroids and floating space debris were located, plotted and a course indicated in phosphor lines across the pod display to avoid accidental decloaking. Most of the unimportant comms traffic the pilot filtered out, but a few kept recurring.
...spike in local gravimetric and tachyon emmissions...
...pulse signal, source unknown, too quick to locate, request....
...increased activity amongst concord forces in the region....
The pilot directed increased resources to the scanners and changed the vector towards the outer marker, with a course plan laid in to the jump zone.

The local area was quite, the few capsuleers docked. The pilot watched a large cruise ship decelearate to the outer marker and begin heading in.
"Denial Prime to Homebase. System is stable, no visible threats. Can drop cyno when necessary, just give me the word."
"Homebase to Denial Prime. Acknowledged, standby."
She cursed, why won't they just hurry the hell up. Flexing in the pod she accesed thruster controls and changed the vector. External sensors picked up a distortion in space and passive sensors were redirected to survey. The crew began animated chatter and the pilot noticed data was pouring in from the probes that had been launched hours earlier.
...emmissions increasing exponentially...
...We have a local alert being broadcasted by concord....
...By the maker, we have a wormhole forming 214 mark 67, range 300....
...Sensors are down, recalibrating....
The pilot listened to the chatter and swivelled the external optics and watched the wormhole forming. Great swirling eddies swept away from the eye, several warning sigils flashed and were dealt with.
"Nothing to worry about," she thought,"Just a wormhole. They happen all over the place, all the time."
A whisper filled her pod, DANGER, her ghost warning her. Biosystems flagged up increasing bio-feedback,DANGER, and subtly altered the fluid in the pod.

She slammed the ship into a hard bank and accelerated as much as she could. Moments later a trio of ships emerged from the wormhole. Their unnatural design, the spikes that adorned them, the gaping maws of the laser batteries, the sun glimmering on their hulls, Angelina watched, slightly in awe as the phantasms appeared. Sansha had come to Rakapas.

The covert ops frigate watched the unfolding scene as the three phantasms flew in an attack vector towards the cruise ship. Across the board alarms could be seen as local network went ballistic. Still the frigate stayed on post. This was not part of the plan.

Angelina stirred in her pod. The sansha cruisers would be in firing range on the cruise ship within a few minutes. From memory of her pirating days that cruise ship could carry upwards of four thousand people. It was a ship like that that Kim was on when she was taken. Sansha, she cursed, at least with the Blood Raiders there was a chance of living. With the Sansha.....

The pilgrim moved on an intercept course towards the three phantasms. The crew looked at each other as the red alert flashed up. Power systems for the energy destablisers and vampires whined into operation, the hull creaked as the hardeners were activated. In the drone bays automatic systems loaded ammunition and loaded fully charged powercells. Several more phantasms exitted the wormhole and warped almost instantly away.
"Denial Prime to Homebase. Minor Sansha incursion underway. Will inform of conditions."
"Homebase to Denial Prime. Do not engage. Repeat. Do not engage..... ackhowledge and respond."
She watched as the first beams impacted the shields of the cruise ship which was powering to the station as fast as it could go. Not fast enough, not fast enough by far.
....confirmation cruise ship Freedom's Grasp is carrying 5204 passengers....
Freedom's Grasp.... an omen, DANGER, no! NO!
....pulse signal is activated, unable to lock down while in cloak....
....Nightmare class detected in system, engaging local milita forces....
....Freedom's Grasp is relaying a mayday....
"Denial Prime to Homebase. Fuck you. Angelina Ballentyne to the crew. We are engaging the Sansha threat to rescue the cruise ship. Deactivate cloak, acceleate to attack speed, deploy the drones....."

The Captain of the Freedom's Grasp looked at the screens and despaired. There were no ships within range to help him. Navy and militia forces were already engaged and he was under attack. With luck he would be able to get within the range of the defensive. The shields were falling steadily but would last. With luck they would last. His crew, the passengers depended on it. Falling to the Sansha was worse than death.
"Captain, we have recon decloaking behind the phantasms. Pulling the ident codes now.... aaah hell she's a pirate! Damn those vultures!"
"She's not targetting us. Repeat, she is not targetting us!"
"By the seven moons... what is she doing?"

The drones that tore through space bore little resemblence to the valkyries that they once were. Adapted beyond belief with the technology of the rogue drones they were a more dangerous entity. AI's on board scanned the phantasms down and pinpointed weaknesses, firing point blank as they passed. The Phantasms noticed the pilgrim and locked her, but their weapon systems failed to track properly, beams of laser light falling past the recon. Arcs of lightning flashed between the ships as energy was absorbed and destabilised. Onboard systems boosted the drones abilities and the pilot of the phantasms changed their attack. A new prey had been found, one they needed to kill.

The covert ops decloaked with a scream as it's lasers fired into the frey. Too fast by far for the cruisers to target it, and it flew straight through the exploding mass of the first phantasm, it's sheilds screaming. Scrambling systems caressed the spiked cruisers and forced them to stand and fight while the recon pounded them into oblivion. But even they were shocked when the nightmare decelerated almost right on top of them and began targetting.

"For the love of God Angelina we have to retreat, we can't fight a Nightmare!"
"Just keep it busy, make sure it doesn't leave!"
"Denial Prime to Homebase... request carrier support.... Homebase? Come in Homebase?"
A quick check of the systems, signals being jammed. Wide band jamming signal and unknown interferance. Pulse signal stronger, directed at the battleship from the recon. Treachery?
"You can dodge the battleship, it's no where near capable of catching you, you're too fast!"
"Goddam you Angelina......"
The last phantasm exploded in a silent fire ball moments after the covert ops. The recon turned to face the Nightmare, coming between it and the cruise liner. Heavy fire lashed out, slamming into the ship, tearing it's sheilds apart and renting the armour. Systems whined to take over and when the second hit slammed in they were still trying to repair the original damage. Red sigils flashed across boards, the Pilgrim was mortally wounded. It was dying.

"This is the Pilgrim Denial of Interest to the Freedom's Grasp. Are you in range of the station defences yet?"
"We are. Thanks to you, now get out of there!"
"Negative. As long as you and your passengers are safe that is....."
The transmission cut and the captain looked out the window at the Pilgrims wreck. It turned in space, gaping holes burned into it from the Nightmare. Escape pods fired away from the doomed ship and after a few more attempts to contact it the hull exploded. He watched in horror as the Nightmare tractored the pod that was floating in the debris into one of it's cavernous bays.
"May the seven moons protect that capsuleer. Even if she was a pirate, that was the most noble soul I've ever seen. She doesn't deserve what is coming to her."

Friday, 21 January 2011

Office Break

Perimeter II - Moon 1 - Caldari Navy Assembly Plant

Carmilla Deritan, clad in a form fitting business suit exitted the interstation shuttle and stood before the administrative offices. Two geisha carrying large cases flanked her as she walked towards the entrance and up to the reception. Behind the expansive desk a cold looking civire sat tapping away at a computer. Carmilla stopped infront of it and coughed gently, the civire looking up into Carmilla's round glasses and red lipped smile.
"I'm here to see Hinare Etherus. Can you tell me where I might find him?"
"Do you have an appointment?"
"No. I just...."
"Then you can't see him. Feel free to make an appointment and you can see him. Good day."
"Can't you just tell him I'm here? I'm an old friend."
She smiled again, the Civire did not.
"No visitors. Make an appointment."
"Can I make an appointment here?"
"What is your business?"
"I'm just here to say Hi."
"That is not official Caldari Navy business. Please leave before I have you escorted out. Good day Madam."
The receptionist went back to her computer and Carmilla watched thoughtfully for a few moments then turned on her heels and walked out the door, the Geisha in tow. She stopped at a terminal and held out her bag. One of the geisha held it while she opened it and then took a tool to the terminal casing, cracking it open and revealing the insides. The second Geisha kept a wary eye on passers by. After a few minutes she closed the casing and started tapping at the keys and pulled out several datacrystals from her bag and slipped them into the terminal. Guristas logo's flashed over the screen and she went to work.

Deep in the offices, settled at his desk Hinare Etherus, Administrations clerk for the Caldary Navy worked his way through a pile of paperwork. His terminal flashed and a message appeared on his screen. He frowned, mostly because this was a secure terminal, but also because no one was supposed to know he was there.

To: Hinare Etherus, Admin Clerk, CN
You have a 3:15 appointment in your office with the representative of Autumn Breeze Enterprises regarding an entertainment licence.

With a chuckle he accepted the appointment and looked at the clock on the wall. 3:12. He had just enough time to make it to the reception to meet her.

Carmilla walked back in flanked by the Geisha and stood before the reception. The civire didn't even look up.
"If you wait there I will call the guards.....
"If you check, girl, I have a 3:15 appointment with Hinare Etherus. Please check before you throw me out, that way when I do complain I can have you busted down to washing ships in the furthest pit the Navy has an office in."
She flushed and tapped, just as Hinare walked up.
"Aaah, Carmilla Deritan. So glad you could leave our receptionist able to understand the error of her ways."
Carmilla held her hand out and smiled as Hinare kissed it and slipped her arm though his.
"My office is this way, ladies, shall we?"
The receptionist glared, then went back to her terminal.

They stopped outside of his office and Carmilla held him back.
"Let my girls enter first. We have a surprise for you."
She ran her eyes up and down him, taking in his white navy uniform and biting her lip.
"How have you been? The girls say you keep to yourself when you are at the House."
"I've been busy, but I'm glad you made the changes to the room. It was a bit to big for me. But it has been nice to relax on the beach, swim in the sea." He chuckled to himself. "I do miss it."
"Then I have a nice surprise for you."
She smiled warmly and leant back against him, feeling his arms around hers, and a slight twitch. They watched officers and office staff look at them as they walked past and ignored everyone until a Geisha opened the door and beckoned them in.

The furniture in the room had been pushed up against a wall and covered with cloth. A holographic projector was covering all the walls with a surround of the beach and environs at the Geisha House. A filter over the lights was now the same colour as the systems sun, and a portable terminal was playing the sound of the ocean. The carpet was covered in a thin layer of sand and a large towel had been placed on it, along with a bottle of wine and two glasses. Hinare looked at it and laughed, then dragged Carmilla in while he unbottoned his tunic and laid down on the towel. Carmilla knelt beside him, her own jacket now off and poured two glasses of wine.
"I thought you could do with an office break, Hinare. And what better than to remind you where you can call home."

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

New Horizons

Carmilla sat in the Beansnakes coffee shop and sipped her drink while she waited. The small cup in her hands filled the air around her with an powerful aroma, and the frentix mix soothed her. Her datatablet bleeped quietly and she ignored it, watching the comings and goings of the shop.

"First you talk to Gallicia without tearing out his throat... now you are in a Serpentis coffee house. If I didn't know better Sis, I'd say you wanted back in."
She smiled and looked up as her companion sat down opposite her. His white suit was immaculate, his hair styled and his wrap around glasses shimmered. With a gentle click he placed his glasses on the table top and let his cane rest against the side of his chair. With a wolfish smile and clicked his fingers and ordered a Cadere and some biscuits.
"Victor, I'm so glad you could make it!"
"Hey, after all you've been through I'm surprised you are in as good state as you are."
He leaned over and softly pulled down the scarf and looked at her burn scar. He grimaced.
"Who did that? Ithiria?"
....The burn across her neck... pain lancing like lightning across her.... the scream more intense than the hissing burn of the torch....
She pulled it back up and sipped her coffee.
"No, still not managed to work out who ordered it. Even managed to track down those who did it. But they died before they could."
Victor looked at her, she met his gaze and sipped her coffee.
"You have a darker side to you Carm. I'd expect that more from Angelina than you...."
"Victor," she spat, "They decollared me. They scarred me for life.... at least the life of this clone. They've taken from me more than you'll ever know.. and they paid for it."
....fists smashing the already bloodied face.... the sound of bones breaking.... screams of agony.... then on to the next one..... questions.... denials..... the beatings.....
Carmilla closed her eyes and breathed deeply, feeling Victors hand on hers holding it tightly.
"I feel so alone now Victor. I'm not used to this freedom, there has always been someone there to look after me, to direct me."
"Oh come on Carm, you are one of the strongest women I know. You don't need to be someones bitch to know who you are. And dont' get me wrong, I love Ithiria as much as you do..... but...."

She looked over the rows of coffee grinders and nodded. Things would be changing now, had already started changing. People who had not spoken to her for years were once again talking to her, others were dismayed. For so long she had been loyal, but what can you do when you are not the one breaking the mould. Perhaps they were right. She finished her cup and put it down on the table.
"I had a long conversation with Korinne earlier. She opened my eyes. I can do it... I have the friends around me to pull me through. There are new horizons out there for me, Victor. But I have people I need to speak to first."
She looked out the window towards the docking bay and watched a ship take off. And some people, she thought, who have to die.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Mechanical Blues

The engineer knelt down before the security drone and rested on her heels. Several panels on the drone were open and wires lead out to various portable consoles, powerpacks and diagnostic displays. Currently the little drone was humming to itself, rocking slowly on it's four legs and
the engineer was not happy.

"You are a mark III 'Talon' combat drone. What is your primary function?"
The display unit flashed up a few letters, but slowly, as if it was a struggle.
Not interested.... don't care.
She sighed and tapped a few commands into the secondary display.

Code Reboot - Diagnostic AI - Safe Mode Backup Personality - execute
ERROR - Backup Personality corrupted

The engineer sat back and looked at the drone with a shocked expression.
"You what???"
The display flashed up again, a bit quicker this time.
I am so unhappy.....
"You are a combat drone! You are not supposed to have feelings!"
The four legs seemed to sag and the three 'eyes' on the front seemed to dim. The display flashed up, a bit slower.
Thought you would have... understood. Go away.
"Now wait...."
The weapon attachment on the drone lifted and pointed at the engineer, the little lights on the side indicating it was charging and the whining of internal mechanisms indicated the safetys were off. For a few moments she thought about trying to disable the weapon systems, but guessed she wouldn't have enough time before the weapon fully charged.
"Well.... what's wrong? I mean, if you can't talk to me? Who can you talk to? You can't get much more intimate then we have.. I mean I've seen your reactor."
The little legs moved the body subtly up and down. If she had to guess, she'd think it was laughing softly to itself.
"So what is your... name, drone?"
You won't laugh?
"No, I promise."
Laugh? What was wrong with this drone?
My name... is Sarah

CreoDron - Combat Drone - Mark III 'Talon' Infiltration Device

The Mark III 'Talon' combat drone was created originally for battlefield Infiltration. With enough speed and mobility to traverse a wide variety of terrain and enough firepower in it's primary and secondary weapon systems to take out company sized threats on it's own. Used primarily by the Gallente against Caldari targets during the war they were often dropped onto targets of opportunity and left to their own devices. Their state of the art A.I. combined with stringent code of conduct had the effect of creating quite literal weapons of mass destruction as their A.I. went mad, and more than a few simply not moving and being blown apart by caldari counter infiltration forces. Mark III's were phased out for the more stable mark IV's.

The engineer put down her datatablet and looked at the drone again. Somehow this little drone had become moody, and most likely was insane. Did the A.I. break it's boundaries and evolve? Was it... depressed?
"Sarah... what's wrong?"
He kicked me
"Who did?"
The carbon based lifeform known as Bill. He said I was useless and kicked me.
"But Bill owns you, he bought you and the other drones to protect him and his wife. And the estate. He's placing his life in your hands.... so to speak."
He didn't have to kick me. I have feelings you know
"Sarah. You're a battlefield infiltration drone. You kill people for a living."
Does that mean he has to be agressive to me?
How could she answer that. How could anyone. A drone who doesnt' like to be kicked. She pondered for a moment and looked at the drone. It was true it was a bit battered and dented, being rescued from a battlefield a number of years ago and only minimal repair work was done.
"Sarah.... what would cheer you up? What do you want?"
You'll think I'm being silly
"No I won't. And if you let me I'll repair your carapace, clean you up and get you back in full working order. I'm going to be working here, so I'd like to know that you are able to protect us all."
Well, there are a few things I want and need
The drone listed it's demands as the engineer listened. She nodded and smiled and made a few notes on her datatablet.
"Give me half a day to build this and I'll get it installed, few hours to clean you up and repair you. Infact you should be fully operational by tomorrow. That okay?"
And the code of conduct?
The engineer tapped away at the screens and after a few minutes hit the execute button. The drone stood still for a moment then raised itself up, it's eyes glowed fiercely and it flexed all it's appendages, including a few that were hidden away
I am free. You promise you will fulfill all my requests?
"You have my word, Sarah. And if he doesn't like it, I'll buy you from him and you can work at my estate."

Bill walked around his estate the following day and noticed Carmilla working on one of the drones. Arm in arm with Dossie he walked towards them and they both stopped and looked. Carmilla and the drone were engaged in a conversation where they were both laughing.
"Carm. What's going on? And why is there a bloody great ribbon wrapped around that drone?"
Carmilla turned and smiled and patted the drones carapace.
"Bill, Dossie, I'd like to introduce you to Sarah. Sarah, your owner and carbon based life form, Bill. And his wife Dossie."
The drone raised a leg and waved then started to walk around the estate. Bill walked over and watched it go.
"What have you done to it?"
"I removed it's code of conduct and cleaned it up. It was somewhat depressed because you kicked it."
"Well of course I did. The bloody thing wouldn't work."
"Well dont' do it again, and if it talks to you, her name is Sarah. Oh and be careful, it's more than capable of destroying this estate if it wanted to."
"And you let it free of it's programming?"
"No. I gave it something better....."
She watched as the drone leapt in the air chasing a butterfly before resuming it's patrol.
"I gave it a friend and a voice. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a few more to look at."