"Carmilla. Been a long time. Hows the slaving business?"
"It's good Carlo. I need a favour."
The face paused in shadow and blew another smoke plume at the camera.
"What do you need? You know it'll cost."
"It's worth it. I need the flight plan of a shuttle," she reeled off an identification code,"I need to know where it started off. Chances are he switched ships wherever that is. So when you find the station send me a list of ships which have wolf in the name, or are wolf class ships. It's a tall order and I need it yesterday."
"You are asking a lot. You sure you can afford it?"
"I can... I have to. You have my personal terminal address, I'll be in space by the time you get it."
She keyed off the terminal and turned to the geisha who were in the room now.
"Hinare is in the medical bay. I want him kept there. Be creative, and make sure he is comfortable. Be careful of him as he's a wolf and he will bite. Now, get me my black kimono I have work to do. And find me Kim and Korinne and tell them to meet me at the landing pad."
She stripped and headed into the shower, returning after a while and slipped into her kimono. Accessing the Terminal she saw a message. A ship name and it's travel plans. She smiled coldly, now she had a destination.
Kim and Korinne walked towards the shuttle and looked up Carmilla. Together they all jumped into the shuttle and headed off towards the jumpgate.
"Carm... what's going on?"
"I have to kill someone. But I need... someone to help me do it."
"Who? And why am I here?"
"You are here Korinne... because the person i'm getting to do this I can't trust and she is dangerous. And I may need you to stop her."
"Who is she?"
Carmilla was quite for a while until she was prodded. Even then she spoke slowly and deliberately.
"She is me. The old me. The clone that survived Galilcia and the Serpentis for six years."
The shuttle was silent until they docked in the destination station.
From their hotel room Carmilla and Kim hacked into the security systems. Together they spooled through the footage until they came across what they were looking for. Hinare, wounded heading for the docking bay and his ship.
"Okay, now we just need to wind back... see which room he was in and who his target was."
"Carm. What are we after?"
"Hinare's target got away from him. I need to find him."
"So I can kill him. I almost lost him and people will pay for that."
Kim smiled and said nothing. Korinne simply raised an eyebrow.
"He means that much to you?"
"Yes. No wher near as much as Ithiria means to me... but enough to do something foolish."
Carm flipped back through the security footage and watched the assassination attempt.
The assassin approached the target swiftly. The bodyguard moving to intercept, a weapon firing with uncanny speed and accuracy. A blade flickering and the bodyguard falling, but the target escaping.
She looked at the frozen face of the target and printed it out and gave Kim a copy.
"Find him. I will meet you at the cloning station. And when you do, find the room two doors down from it. Either rent it or arrange something at it, a dancer gift for the occupant. There is a reason..."
Serpentis Prime has numerous cloning centres, several large ones for the use of the faithful and an unknown number of hidden secret ones. It was to one of these that the cloning master awoke to the sirens indicating a clone was activating. He dragged his old bones to the centre and checked the console, gasping as he saw which one was activating and selected the clones posessions.
Carmilla awoke and stood up, the memories of her last couple of years slowly imprinting themselves on the clone until the memories were perfectly synchronised. She flexed muscles that she had forgotten and writhed in a sensual way, music in her movements. Her body was covered in healed scars, great tattoos of serpents writhed across as if alive. The three tattoos that she was known to have, dwarfed by the size and beauty of what was on her now. She pulled her hair back, wiping the slickness of the cryo liquid from it and looking around. Each movement accentauted her body, muscles rippled and the look in her eyes was pure darkness, steel as black as night, yet as blue as the never ending sky.
"I never expected to see your clone, Little Snake."
"Quin... I never expected to be back. But there are things that have to be done."
"You said you would never use this clone again. If Gallicia spots you, you know you'll be powerless before him. It'll be like you never escaped."
"I know, but I have to do this. Do you have my things?"
He smiled and opened the box and she looked inside. She pulled out a dancers garb and a silver bodice decorated with the serpentis sigil. Boots of quicksilver with heels in the shape of snakes tapped on the floor as she walked to a mirror. Quin passed her a small bag and before long she was ready. She looked in the mirror...and remembered.
"I was beautiful, Quin."
"You still are. But you are also deadly. Be careful Little Snake, hide this clone well when you change back."
"That's if I change back.... this body is so much more than what I have currently."
"This is not you. Never forget that... if you stay in this body, Gallicia will own you again. You cannot break the conditioning he placed on you."
"I know... pray for me Quin."
She wrapped a long red silken cloak aroudn her and stepped out of the cloning centre and headed towards what she rememebred was a starport.
Kim walked purposefully towards the lobby of the building, behind her Carmilla, clad in the crimson hooded robes skipped and danced. Korinne walked behind them both, keeping her distance, watching all around.
"We have a delivery for room 338. A dancer has been arranged for Sire Kirla."
The receptionist smiled and nodded and tapped a few keys behind her.
"Aaah, yes we have you on the list. Please go straight up."
Kim nodded and smiled and slipped a credit chip across the top to her and they made their way to the elevators.
"Are you sure this is what you want Carm?"
"I'll back you up, you know that. And Korinne will back us both up."
The bodyguards stationed outside of room 340 watched in amusement as Kim and the dancer walked up to the 338 and knocked. The conversation was brief and the two of them went into the room. However a few moments later screams were heard and a young child ran out the door, covered in blood and down the corridor. Seconds later, the red robed figure walked into the corridor and flung back her hood and walked towards them. Blood covered both of her hands and the look in her eyes was unnerving to them. They pulled their weapons out, but even before they had them raised she was at them. Blades appeared in her hands and into the throats of the bodyguards and with a leap she kicked the door and rolled inside. As Kim made her way out of the room and looked down the corridor she saw the two guards dropping and the guards in the room slamming the door shut as they surrounded her daughter.
The target looked up as the ten men surrounded her. All of them had weapons out, guns, swords, stun sticks. Carmilla stood in the middle of them and her cloak dropped to the floor. Her snakes moved around her body as they all watched. The target laughed at her and slapped his table.
"I knew someone would come again. I didnt' know it would be a Serpentis Assassin. And such a beautiful one. I think my men and I will have our pleasure with you before we kill you."
"I'm not Serpentis. Though I am going to definately have my pleasure with you and your men."
The targets laughter died in his throat and he growled. As he heard someone hammering on the door.
"Kill this bitch... then kill whoever is at the door."
Carmilla... smiled with a look of pure evil.
Korinne gave up kicking the door and pulled out a heavy bore pistol and blew the lock off. Together they opened the door and ran in, stopping suddenly. Carmilla stood by the window holding the target up in the air. All around there were the bodies of the ten men, all dead.
"Carmilla, by the seven moons...."
"This.... you bastard... is for Wolfbane. You should have died the first time!"
With a roar she threw the body at the window. It smashed and his screams could be heard as he fell. She threw her head back and laughed and stood at the broken window and looked down. Three hundred floors. With a twirl she was back in the room, dancing and laughing.
"Now... we can go and have some fun!"
Kim looked at her and shook her head.
Carmilla turned her head and looked at Korinne as Kim pulled the trigger on the hypo and fired a tranquiliser dart into her daughter. She swore and pulled at it, only to have Korinne fire a stunner at her. As blackness covered her thoughts she felt Korinne pick her up and throw her over her shoulder.
Kim and Korinne pushed the now naked Carmilla into the clone tube and initiated the transfer. The clone of Carmilla that Ithiria had placed under the Geisha House was ready.
"What will she remember?"
"Everything. But she will be our Carmilla... not that one. Not the Little Snake, not any more."
"I'll take care of her, Kim. I promise you that. Hinare is waiting for her... we should move before someone suspects something."
Kim activated the board and the clone transfered and awoke slowly while a metal sheath covered the other clone tank.
Carmilla walked into the medical bay and saw Hinare on the bed. He looked strained, but then so did she.
"I killed him Hinare. I killed your target. Dropped him 300 floors. No one hurts someone I care about."
Carmilla sat down on the end of the bed and took his hand.
"Now I have to tell my Master what I have done. And my Mistress."
"They will be angry."
"Most likely. But you will learn this about me. I am theirs, totally...."