Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Judgement Call

Once again it had happened. Ithiria, my dear darling Ithiria had lost her mind. Kneeling there on the deck of the 'Hand of Faith' motionless, almost catatonic. Next to her, one of her pets, the delightful Kayli Orchidia. Aaaah, how I know you of old. I still remember those precious hours we spent together, though I'm sure you wouldn't.

The look of your arm, so pale like the rest of your naked body, made me remember. I pulled out my blade and while walking around them both I told her what I was going to do. Cut her arm down to the bone, scrape it, listen to the sound of my blade over bone. Hearing the symphony of her screams and the note of bone.

Catatonic or not, our implants were still linked, even though I had shut most of them off. I guess I never gave up hope. I made a judgement call.


As I leaned in to cut her, Ithiria awoke, broke my arm I saw the look in her eyes. I had dared to contemplate touching something of hers. I remembered that look, I'd seen it before... in my defence.. and against me. Then she cut the lights.

Yeah.... shite.....

She danced around me, cutting me where she could, though my body armour protected a lot. Using the ships internal sensors she was able to see me in the dark. Luckily from my time spent with Angelina building ships like this, and from my time aboard this ship... I had an idea how to get around... and I almost did. I just forgot... damn that Ja'li.

So I blew the power conduits, shorted out the room and a good portion of the ships internal sensors and fled into the maze of corridors and hidden rooms. I found my old sanctuary and set my arm and listened in on the security net as Ja'li organised a search of the ship for me. Poor Ja'li, for her to think she could pin me down, I am a snake, I can go anywhere. And if necessary I can bite.


I forgot, only one person knows this ship better than I do. I should have realised that something was wrong when I felt safe enough to fall asleep. Don't get me wrong, a bullet in one arm, the other broken and tanked up on stims and pain killers and adrenaline.... when it wore off I closed my eyes. I thought I was safe. So I made a judgement call....


I woke looking into her eyes. I never forget that look, the compassion tinged with anger, tinged with that look I remember so well from the old days.


So I made a judgement call....

Sunday, 20 March 2011


Carmilla sat on the edge of the mesa, her feet dangling over the hundred foot drop. The sun beat down on her and sweat ran in rivulets over the dust, dirt and blood that coated her body. Far above her birds of prey circled, a few whispy clouds and the burning heat of the midday sun.

Using the telescopic sight of the rifle she watched the squad of troopers making their way slowly up plain below, following her path. Rubbing her arm she waited as her datatablet connected to the planet comm-net, sifting through the net and locating her diary. Sipping from a bottle of tepid water she checked her chrono and started tapping away at the keyboard.

Personal Log - The Hour of timeless contemplation, the day of surprises

A month. One whole month, and maybe a few more days... or less... it's hard to count when you have no reference half the time. That's the time I have wasted on this trip to find my heritage. Minmatar... Amarr... Pah! I have a foot in both worlds and I belong to neither. Minmatar by my father, Amarr by my mother. And despised by both.

I took this journey to find where I belonged because of something three people said to me. Mizhara, in her dissapointment over my lifestyle and carefree ways... Sakura because she wanted to save me from myself... and Ithiria.


Even after all this time I still cannot think of what you did with malice. I must take a portion of the blame, even if you didn't realise that I went with Hinare to get you to notice me. Oh I noticed that I was loosing you, that you always seemed to be elsewhere when I needed or wanted you. And yes a part of me says 'Hey, your her slave, it's not your place', but another part of me said fuck that! Where is my wife. And then.... you were no longer my wife. I was no longer your slave. And truly my life ended there.

Sakura, aaah my little policewoman. So knowledgable and yet so niave at times. But you fanned the flames of intrigue and made me look to what I was doing.. where I belonged. Made me doubt myself and forced me to see, without even lifting a finger. I wonder if you know how subtle you can be, or if it's a deeper part of you?

And Mizhara. Oh how I remember what you did to me in the Masquerade, and I wonder now if what I am going through is not just another masquerade. I think it is. Time to remove the mask and become who I am. I will not say that I was displeased by what I almost became, indeed the thought of being like Kael was appealing....

Far too appealing. I like my freedom and it seems I like the thought of not being free. When I was Ithiria slave I was free, more free than the birds in the sky. For although she was once a power, and a figure of authority and nobility, that faded over time and events until now, well.... that is for others to say. I tried to bring her back to what she was, but there was too much damage done. Too much to be undone and far too many people who believe that what they want should be an extension of who she is. One day, maybe, she'll change.

But it won't be with me. She has a wife.

It is not me.....

I should have fought for her when I had the chance. Now it may be too late.

The time I spent with the minmatar shamans learning about my people and my place in their society has shown me much. Some of them despise me for what I have done, giving myself to a slaver and debasing myself for her pleasure. Whore, they call me. Traitor. And worse. But all was not one sided. For there were those there who remember me from my earlier days, when I freed the slaves and fought the Amarr. Others still who I have saved from the clutches of the Serpentis. Patriot they said, Hero. Warrior, said others. Souls I do not remember who pulled out their ceremonial blades and stood behind me and said they would fight for me. While others stood infront and said they would fight against me. Blood was spilt, much blood.

And I found out my father is still alive. Oh Kim, why did you not tell me this. Although I cannot help but admire his sense of timing. As I was lying on the floor of the arena surrounded by the bodies of those who supported me, and opposed me, while members of a family of Brutor who had a blood feud with me were about to eviscerate me... you leapt from the galleries with your followers and stood beside me, as I bled.

Blood.... is there any doubt why I would once have thrown my banner in with the Blood Raiders. There is a purity in blood that cannot be understood until you see your own blood pooling at your feet and your head is light from the lack of your own blood, your limbs are heavy and your heart pounding as heavy as a pile driver. Ian, you shucked off your coat and reaveled your form, the heavily scarred and tattooed form of a Sebiestor Shaman.... and your pod implant ports.

Why did it never occur to me that my father, who I thought I had killed in my escape from Gallicia and the Serpentis... was a capsuleer? Why did Kim never tell me? Not that it matters now, for in part I have been recognised as a Minmatar. I have my tattoos, my voluval which is the same as my fathers, and the rest of his clan. And did I laugh when it appeared? Yes, til the tears ran down my face and people looked on with worry. Close, did it look to the Pale Eye, but not for me the imposed exile.... a snake, eating it's own tail. Oroubus.

Snakes. Why does it always have to be snakes?

And so, after I departed from the arena, where my name is placed in the might tomes that list the heritage of the minmatar tribes, the usual happened. People tried to kidnap me. Do I have this sign on my head saying kidnap me? Does God have a plan for me that involves me being the helpless woman all my life? Should I fall to the ground and cry out, help! help! and seek a strong man to protect me? No, it seems far too much like the other.

Some people say that man is meant to be free. What a load of shite. Man is born a slave. What you do in your life determines how free you are. I was free with Ithiria's Collar around my neck, but I somehow wasn't free with Mizhara's boot on my neck.

Things have to change, and once I have stopped these people from trying to capture me, which I am revelling in.... I will go to Ithiria. I will tell her how I feel.

That I want her back.....

As my wife.

Message Ends

Carmilla pressed the send button and waited until the confirmation came through and closed the unit. With a sigh she picked up the rifle and looked at the body of men and women coming along the trail. She started to softly sing a song as she rolled over and laid down and trained the sniper rifle on the woman right at the end of the column, then moved up, her scope caressing each person, their loadouts and their faces. All of them were brutors. As she sighted the last woman again she started to sing louder and gently squeezed the trigger. When the rifle ran out of ammuntion she slung it over her shoulder and pulled out two pistols, hammered the end of a coil of wire from her belt into the rock and leapt over the edge screaming.

Ten minutes later she sat on a large rock watching one of the men die, bleeding from several abdominal gunshots. Blood covered her left side from a deep blade slash and was running freely. She looked at the brutors knife, a keen edged curving blade decorated with his tribal house insignia. It had come closed to killing her. It might still, she mused as she looked into his hate filled eyes.
"Tell you what, brutor. Whoever dies first, looses."
"We... will kill... you .... in the end.... traitor...."
Carm pulled out a lukeworm can of quaffe noir and popped the top.
"I dare say. If you lose."
The two of them watched each other in silence as they both bled.

The Brutor lost.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

A Falling of Angels...

The storm outside had reached hurricane proportions. Torrential rain fell while the winds hammered the geisha house. All around the girls were making sure windows were closed and everything tied down. The guests just saw the storm as another excitement to add to the entertainment. None of them noticed the heightened awareness and the number of guards which were appearing.

Kim walked back up to the Geisha House from the generators. The main power was slagged, a feedback from the explosion has overloaded the system and burnt out most of the power couplings. The backup generators had taken up the strain, but they too had run out. She walked back, a high powered torch in her hands, two guards behind her with rifles at the ready. With the power out there was no way of contacting anyone, the devices that were available were simple planetary, and orbital.

As they entered the Geisha House via one of the other entrances she pulled her hair back and tied it with a band. The party down the hall was still in full swing, the sounds of the raucus laughter and music at least giving some semblance to normality.
"Okay, we need to search this entire complex. She must be found. Use stun bolts, I want her alive and if possible we need to get her before Ithiria and the others come. They wont hesitate to kill her."
"Okay, you're the boss on this one. I've tried to contact Mizhara again, we just got no range."
"Don't worry about her, I'll handle her when I need to. If she didn't have the knee jerk reaction at the labs being an old blooder facility Ithiria wouldn't have pulled the plug. Alert the other teams and the Geisha...."
Kim looked down the corridor towards the party, it was insane to even think she was there, but when dealing with Carmilla, and especially this clone, insanity gets results.
"Come with me...."

The little geisha had run into the tattooed woman and recognised her immediately. She smiled and bowed and frowned at her nakedness in the lantern light.
"Carmilla, when did you get back? You must be cold, is your Mistress forcing you to stay naked again? Come with me, we'll get you sorted...."
She linked her arms with Carmilla and walked to her quarters, chattering all the way. The little snake looked at her, bemused and let herself be dragged along. Once they were in the room she looked around. This was her room. She looked at the pictures on the walls, the ornaments and the decoration. Each one she recognised, even though she had never been here before. The other Carmilla had been here, the weak one. The geisha came back with a long kimono and a towel and dried and dressed her, sitting her down at the table, lighting various candles.
"I dont remember seeing those tattoos before, but I do remember Victor talking about them once. And Ithiria of course, though she didnt' talk about them much....."
She wittered on as she made up Carmillla's face and smiled with girlish anticipation.
"You like?"
Little Snake looked in the mirror and nodded and pointed to the sword rack. She bounced over and returned with two swords and sheathes and kept on talking. There was a silent whisper, of silk being cut and the little geisha looked down and saw the sword protruding from her chest.
"You talk to much."
She pulled the sword out and wiped it on the geisha's kimono and fixed the swords into her belt and stalked into the corridor. As she prowled the dark corridors she heard the sounds of partying and walked in. Over a dozen amarr were sitting around a large round table, singing and drinking. Two geisha were serving them and giggling with them, while two more played musical instruments. One of the men looked up and cheers.
"At last! Our dancer is here!"
The men slammed their cups on to the table and chanted Dance, Dance, Dance! The snake ran at the stage, leapt and somersaulted through the air and landed on the table, swords out and head bowed. The music started and she began to dance, a primal instinct in her to perform and to dance to the best of her ability. Men cheered as she danced and the geisha marvelled as the music began to reach a cresendo when the snake noticed the woman walk into the doorway. Kim!
She leapt into the air with a banshee scream.

Kim walked into the room cradling the rifle in her arms, the two guards behind her and looked around, then noticed the dancer. She watched as Carmilla leapt into the air, arms outstretched with swords curved, her knees raised as she jumped, one higher than the other, her painted mask gleaming in the light. She landed, swords on either side of her whipping back, sinking into soft flesh. Their eyes locked as two sprays of blood from the cut throats of two of the guests sprayed into the air, covering her and the stage and the lanterns. Some of the light changed from a deep yellow to a crimson. A geisha screamed, the guests uttered oathes and tried to get up and the snake simply ran towards Kim.

Two swords were thrown, knocking the two guards back, their guns firing into the room and Kim was slammed back, her head ringing from a strike. Her own gun was knocked from her grasp and she found herslef flying, the snake had picked her up and thrown her at the stage. Taking her swords, the snake closed the doors and began to slaughter the amarr, leaving the geisha alive but hudding in the corner. In the crimson light she picked up Kim and slammed her into the wall, driving a sword through her shoulder, pinning her to the wall. Her scream echoed through the complex.
"Why... are you doing this...."
The snake writhed as she expertly patted the pinned doctor down.
"Because I can. Because I am not going back into stasis. And because I have work to do. Stick around, Kim. I want you to see what happens next."

Even with the best pilots a shuttle in a storm is a difficult thing to land. Especially a combat shuttle. Before the engines had died Ithiria had ripped open the doors and leapt out, flanked by a squad of her elite paladins and Kaelali. Other shuttles were dropping all over the island. Paying little attention to the howling wind and rain she walked towards the Geisha House, her flowing robes covering her armoured bodice. A second shuttle landed and Mizhara and Gherena departed, a tired looking Carmilla falling into place behind her. As they made their way to the entrance they found the first bodies.
"I know this one. Carmilla worked with him."
"Oh god, Pablo!"
Carmilla cradled the man lying on the ground, despite his wounds he was still alive, barely. He looked at her and flinched, then softened. He coughed up blood and spat and tried to smile.
"Chikita.... you have a double.... she is not as nice as you are....."
Ithiria left two guards to take him to the shuttle as Mizhara turned to Carm.
"A double? Does she mean your sister, Angelina?"
"No Mistress. It must be my clone, the original Carmilla. The one that was Gallicia's slave. She must have escaped."
Carm shuddered and suddenly looked up at the roof of the Geisha House. In the darkness it was difficult to see, but with each arcing lightning she could see the outline. Could see the figure sitting on the roof watching them. With the next strike it was gone. Carm moved closer to her Mistress and followed her into the house.

The little snake sat on the roof watching as the shuttles landed and disgorged troops and they began to fan out. Memories ran through her mind as she watched....

The slaves, four of them running through the forests of Serpentis Prime. Barking and slavering hounds chasing them, the howls of the hunters. Twigs and branches lashing at them as they ran. The first falling, screaming, begging, silenced by the hounds forever. Keep running, always keep running, escape the hunters.

She snarled and threw off the kimono and watched the group that was clustered aroudn the body. There, at the back, so weak and simpering, following her Mistress like a lapdog. That one, Ithiria, there in teh crowd, Mizhara! Aaaah, such memories I have of you and what you did. It will be fun to face off against you. The other one, a sibling... but which one.... And there, behind Ithiria... Kaelali.... For a moment her look changed, from one of evil incarnate to one of tenderness.
She noticed Carm looking up at her, the flash of lightning behind her illuminating her. Time to go, the hunt has begun, she mused.

Once in the Geisha House Ithiria waited. She mused, it was Mizhara's now, not hers anymore. Pity and pain flashed through her as she looked back and saw Carmilla walking behind Mizhara. Kael, however, ever attentive to her Mistresses needs was besider her, whispering calmly and squeezing her arm. A snore had them jump slightly, swords were flung from scabbards, pistols and rifles raised. Hinare moved gently in his chair, his foot resting on the slain body of one of the Geisha, seemingly unknowing of what had taken place here.
"Miz, this is your place, how shall we proceed?"
"Roaming patrols. I want this place locked down. A search from room to room, find out what happened here. There must be survivors. If you see someone that looks like Carmilla, shoot her. And find Kim!"
Lights were brought in, powerful torches and small generators taken from the shuttles. Crews were dispatched to the house generators while others began a sweep inside, more outside.

Mizhara walked around the rooms, checking them, Carm never far behind her. Gherena had taken another group and was sweeping the upper floors.
"Tell me child, what makes this clone so dangerous?"
"She is what I was. A slave trained to survive against the odds. Taught to fight in the areanas, taught how to kill. Subject to such brutality and hatred that even my body was tainted, tattooed and programmed to obey. But they forgot one thing. The primal, animal instinct that is in all of us. Strip away the civilised outers and we're all animals deep down. They just let mine out and couldn't put it back, even though they tried. Only Gallicia managed."
"I don't remember...."
Carm shone a torch down a darkened corridor and illumiated a body. One of the guards, his armour lying in a pool of blood. Beyond him another one, both lying by a doorway. She gestured to two guards who walked up and looked into the room, swearing and dissapearing inside. Miz cursed and was about to shout at them when gunfire errupted, spraying the walls and sending the two guards down.

All over the complex people heard the sound of the gunfire and began to head towards the location.

Mizhara stormed into the room, pistol raised while Carm and another guards shone torches around. The two guards were lying inside the door, dead. Bodies of a dozen amarri were scattered around, though there was no sign of anyone else.
"My god. Miz, the stage!"
On the stage the four geisha were bound and gagged, positioned so as to be a chair for Kim who was still impaled upon the wall. Carm rushed over and looked at the wound, holding her head up and looking in her eyes.
"Kim. Can you hear me.... Kim.... mother....."
Kim raised her head wearily and looked at her daughter.
"Get.... out..... while you..... can."
"Enough of the heroics, monster. Where is that bitch?"
"Where you will.... least expect her."
Kim's head lowered as she drifted out of consciousness and Carm went to grab the sword and pull it out, her Mistress stopped her.
"Let the medtechs do it. We dont need to hurt her any more than necessary. Go and get them, I'll wait here with her. Maybe She'll reveal herself and I can put an end to this."
"Mistress... I dont think...."
"Do it child, before you make me angry....."
Carmilla bowed and headed out, thinking about what Kim had said. She stopped, then headed for the stairs.

Gherena and a squad made their way into the generator room and swore. The team that had been sent to get the power back on must have run into her. Their bodies lay scattered around, shot where they ran.
"Miz, this is Gher. We need to get the hell out of here and blow this place from orbit. This bitch is a ghost."
"Pull the remaining troops back to the shuttles. I'll get Ithiria and we'll leave this place."
Gher looked around and sneered, good men had died here for nothing. With luck she'd run into this bitch on the way out and make her suffer.

Guards swept the corridors and Ithiria walked with Kaelali and made their way upstairs to her room. She gestured to the guards to wait outside the door and walked in with her pet. Walking over to a window she looked out over the statue Carm had built of her and sighed. A scraping sound and a bang from the door made her turn her head.
"Pet, see what's going on out there."
Kael walked to the door and opened it. The guards that were there were lying crumpled on the floor. She backed away and cried out as the snake slammed the butt of the rifle into the side of her head, knocking her flying. Ithiria turned, her hand going to her swords when she saw the woman slam the door behind her and lock it, a rifle trained on her.
"Don't make the mistake of thinking I can't shoot you, Ithiria."
She walked over trained the weapon on Kael.
"One shot and your bitch is dead. True it'll bring the hunters here and their dogs. But I can handle them. And you'll be waking up in a clone vat."
Ithiria looked at her, anger seething through her.
"You will pay for this."
"Make sure you write it down. I'll let it be known it's your epitaph."
With a swing of her arm she threw it across the room, pulling the sword from her belt.
"Just you and me now. I wonder if your screams will be enough to get what I want."
Ithiria stabbed her sword into the floor and removed her robes and picked up her sword again.
"I could forgive you many things, but harming a pet of mine... for that you will pay."
The snake moved, fast and darted in, sword licking out. Only Ithirias skill saved her, knocking the blade away and lashing out, scoring a red cut down snakes arm.
"Aaaah, first blood to you. But not the last."
She swirled and feinted, a foot lashing out to kick her back as her arm with teh scabbard on swung around. Ithiria backed away, parrying and snarled, leaping back in, sword raised.

Carmilla ran down the corridor, vaguely aware that there were sounds of people behind her and burst in to Ithiria's rooms. Kael was laying on the floor and she saw Ithiria and her clone in a desperate battle, illuminated only by the candles in the room. She flung her self down to kael and rolled her over, screaming.
"Sis! Kael, wake up!"

Ithiria heard the door open and recognised the scream, and for a moment her attention was diverted. It was all snake needed, batting aside her blade, kicking her in stomach and leaping at her as she fell, slicing her arm and knocking the sword from her grasp. She stabbed down at Ithiria's neck, but a flying object slammed into her the blade missing mostly, cutting her neck buyt not fatally. Steel bands constricted her throat as she looked up into the eyes of Carmilla. The snake grinned and the two of them rolled, smashing through the window and out, down into the garden below.

A few minutes later Mizhara stormed into the room with Gher and both of then looked around. The candles had blown out when the window had smashed. Looking through the window and down at the garden they saw Carmilla, their Carmilla standing over the naked tattooed body of the snake. She looked up the rain washing away the blood.
"It's over Mistress. It's over."

It had taken a few hours to get the generators back up and running, and the bodies moved to an appropriate place. The snake had been bound and gagged and thrown in a shuttle while Carm had looked after both Kael and Kim at a makeshift medical bay. Miz had tended to Ithiria and looked over at Carmilla.
"You know you will have a lot of questions to answer?"
"I know Mistress."
"So will the monster."
Carm just nodded and tightened the belt of her kimono around her tighter.
"I have called your shuttle Mistress, we can leave whenever you are ready."
"You take a lot upon yourself, child."
"I have a lot of atonement still to do."
One of the guards walked in, followed by Gherena.
"That thing was getting restless and screaming behind the gag so we put her out for a while. Can we leave this place? There are enough Geisha left to keep it running and clean it up, plus we can keep some guards here. But I want to be out of here."
Mizhara nodded and gestured to the guards to take Kim and Ithiria to the shuttles. She threw a small neocom at Carm.
"Child, we are leaving. Prepare my shuttle."

Carmilla headed out and down to the landing pads and entered the shuttle, powering up the systems and waiting while Kim and Ithiria were loaded then smiled at the guards
"Guard. Go and inform Mizhara that we are leaving. We will meet her at the Estate."
The guard nodded and spoke into a communit as Carmilla closed the hatch and returned to the two women. A small blade appeared in her hand as she stood over them, her eyes flickered and returned to their silver as the little snake looked down and laughed.
"Of course, it's a poor Mistress who doesn't know her own pet."
The snake spun around, Mizhara lashed out with a stun prod and jammed it open as she zapped the snake. Guards opened the shuttle door from the outside, their own stun prods jammign her as she twisted on the floor. A powerful kick from Mizhara and the snake was thrust out of the shuttle onto the floor. Guards surrounded her and looked down.
"Make her pay, but don't kill her."
Batons and stun prods rained down on her, but still she managed to get some hits in.

Gherena walked over with a shaken Carmilla and pushed her over to Miz. Miz reached over and held her chin in her hand.
"Who am I?"
"My Mistress."
"Who are you?"
"You submissive. Your servant. Just yours."
Miz nodded and smiled.
"Mistress? How did you know?"
Miz smiled and grinned.
"Shut up Carm. Get in the shuttle, you have a long day ahead of you."

Several days later Mizhara walked into the cells and over to the end. The snake was bound in a straight jacket, and chained to the wall. They both stared at each other.
"You can't keep me here forever, Miz. I will kill again."
"We'll see..... we'll see...."
Mizhara turned and walked away from the Snake, closing the doors behind her.

A Nightmare Awakes

They say most of your brain shuts down in cryostasis. All but the primitive side. All but the animal side.

In the darkness of the medical bay the protective cylinder surrounding the cryostasis chamber rose into the ceiling. The protocols that would have prevented this had failed due to the explosions that had rocked the bay just a few short hours earlier. Failure in the power grid as the mains was diverted to backup, which was then diverted to emergency backup was not strong enough to power the necessary systems. As a result the automatic reanimation cycle was started.

With a hiss of pressurised gas the cryostasis opened like a petal and the Little Snake stood and stretched. She looked out into the darkness, memories flowing back into her as she became more coherant and screamed, long gutteral, animal scream. Looking around in the darkness, looking with eyes that had been enhanced to see the horrors that the night beheld, she paced the medical bay. The main entrance blocked, the doors leading to the first adn second chambers, blocked. The third however, and the stairs leading down to the operating theatre and the experimentation vats were open.

As she walked into the third clone bay, the sounds of moaning and breathing was loud in her ears. Twenty cloning chambers had opened, like heres, through automatic reanimation. A hunger filled her, a hunger that had to be fulfilled. Returning to the medical bay she selected a knife, a large autopsy blade. It would suffice.

The screams started soon after.

Lying on one of the medical tables she heard a sound in the distance, and sat up. The sound was of someone, or something moving through the ducts in the third chamber. Lights began to shine from the room and voices could be heard. Gripping the blade she crouched on the bed, then leapt up, grabbing the ceiling beams and wedging herself, looking down, blade in her teeth.

Two heavily armed and armoured men walked softly into the medical bay, covering all the corners, their torch beams scanning everywhere.... except upwards. She dropped cat like between then and slashed twice with the blade. Voices, behind her in the third chamber, familiar. Kim! She leant against the wall and waited, heard her come in calling after the guards, watched as she shone the torch over their bodies. Slowly she started walking towards her, contemplating how to make her die, what form of death and torture was sufficient. Kim ran. She followed slowly, watching her crawl into the duct and followed her after picking up the long bayonets on the guards and eventually looked upwards at a hole in the ceiling. For a few moments she basked in the cold breeze, the fresh air and rain that fell on her. Above her she could hear the sound of people moving. Time to get free from this prison. Let the snake free.

As she climbed out of the hole, looking into the eyes of the guards above her, as he raised his weapon the lights in the geisha house flicked out. Then she smiled, and the guards started to die.

The Little Snake was free, and people were going to suffer.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A Darkening Sky....

Dr Kim Leannder was more than a little annoyed when she heard of the destruction of her medical bay by Ithiria. She was also scared. As soon as news had reached her she had tried to get a confirmation from her daughter, but had been unable to locate her and so had headed down herself.

Reality was a great deal more disturbing. When she landed and headed into the back rooms the door leading down to her medical bay was bowed out. Several of the guards helped her break the door down. The stairs beyond led downwards and were stopped halfway down, blocked by debris and twisted metal. Shining a torch down she shook her head and returns to the lounge where one of the girls brought her a drink.

"Here, lass. Call this number, tell the person at the other end to get here as quickly as he can. I need excavation equipment for a level 3. He'll know what I mean. Tell him he has two hours. I'll be outside."
The geisha nodded and went to walk away, then turned back.
"Ma'am, would you like us to inform Carmilla that you are here?"
"No. If she turns up she turns up. Just let me know in advance if Ithiria is coming."
Sipping her drink she headed back to her shuttle and came back laden down with equipment bags. A few of the girls watched curious as she paced up and down in the gardens before placing a several flags and sitting on a nearby bench.

It was nearly an hour later when a heavy cargo shuttle appeared overhead and headed towards the flagged area and landed with all the grace of a dragonfly. A portly balding man jumped out and lumbered over to Kim, embracing her in his arms while a work crew disembarked and began unloading equipment.
"Aaah, chikita, it does me good to see you again."
"Pablo, I hear you have been working with my daughter again?"
"Yes, she uses my factory almost exclusively now. I make sure she is well looked after there, all of the crews there love her to bits, like she is their own daughters."
He laughed and looked around at the Geisha House and it's surrounding.
"I never knew this place existed, Geisha House, Khanid style yes?"
"Yes it is, and you and your crew are welcome here. I'm surprised Carm hasnt' invited you before?"
"Aaaaah, we have other places we go, but this we will enjoy. Now... to business. What do you need?"
Over the next ten minutes Kim explained the situation to the man and his crew. Plans were brought out and shown. One of the crew checked the blocked entrance way and agreed it would be impossible to pass without heavy equipment.
"One thing I must say, Pablo. Your men as soon as they break through must call me or one of the guards. There are things inside that must be kept inside if they have escaped."
"Please please, we have known each other far too long, we all have secrets. And I have come prepared."
He put two fingers to his mouth and let out a piercing whistle. Four black combat armoured man slipped out, heavily armed, looking around wearily.
"I learned a long time ago, when you are concerend, be prepared."
"A wise decision Pablo.... now lets work."
She looked up at the darkening sky, the wind was picking up and the whole horizon was black cloud, lit up from behind by lightning strikes.
"Quicker we get in and check things out the better. I have a bad feeling about this....."

Even with the dedicated excavation gear it took several hours to dig down to the medical bays extremities, and even then longer to penetrate the hardened ferro-crete. In the end explosives were needed as the drills couldn't make any headway. When the smoke cleared she looked down into the hole, pointing a heavy pistol, one of the crew shining a torch into the hole. From her vantage point she could see the debris inside and the scorching from the demolitions charges.
"This is the first of three of my clone chambers. If I can get to the ducting system I can move between them...."
Pablo clicked his fingers and two of the men leapt into the hole, the lights on their weapons cutting through the darkness. She shuddered, a cold shiver running up her spine and the first drops of rain started to fall.

Kim slipped herself into the hole and looked around from the pile of rubble she had landed on. The heavy pistol in her hand was a reassuring weight. An oppressive darkness filled the room, even the backup lighting had failed in here. The twin rows of cloning cylinders were twisted, ruptured and the nutrient fluid had covered the floor, now a semi-dry sludge. A scent of death was in the air from the twenty bodies that had been in cryo-stasis, and now just so much rotting meat. She listened intently, hearing only the footfalls of the two men with her, and the sound of nutrients dripping from feed lines. Several of the tubes were charred, the demolitions devices had done their work properly. Making her way over to one of the dead terminals she tried a few keys and frowned. Even after this the backup power should have trickled into systems, though maybe the connections were damaged. The door leading into the main facility was buckled and twisted, a heavy beam blocking almost all access to it.

The first guard stopped outside the duct and gestured to them to come over and together they removed the cover. Rain was now falling heavily, coming through the gap and she could see that Pablo and the crew were manhandling a tarpaulin into position.
"Pablo, I'm heading into the ducts with your men. Keep in contact with me."
"You got it chikita.... be careful."
She turned to the guard and drew a schematic on the soot covered wall.
"Take this route, we'll be right behind you."
"You got it, lady."
Heading into the ducting system she tried to fight down her fears. There was nothing alive in the complex, it was all dead. The demolitions charges had been placed so every single tube would be destroyed. Even hers. But she needed to check. In the darkness there was now only the sound of the three of them, her breathing was loud in her ears. Ahead the next panel was kicked out and the guard slipped into the room, and audible splash as he did so. As she came to it the light showed that there was a foot of fluid in the room. Slowly they all slid into it, and looked around. Again the tubes were destroyed, but here the fluid had not dried or washed away. Flashing her torch around she saw the door blocked by the roof caving in and one wall collapsing. Somewhere at the other end of the room there was a continous sound of liquid dripping. She shuddered and checked the tubes. These too were all ruptured, various mangled body parts sticking through in some places.

The three of them moved over to the next duct and opened it looking inside. Clear, the lead guard entered and they followed, both hearing a gasp from him. The smell struck them as they got closer and slipped into room. This chamber had not been destroyed by the demolition charges. All of the cylinders were in perfect condition, except that they were open and the smell was obvious now. The three of them followed the wall around and looked at the remains.
"The cylinders must have gone into automatic reanimation instead of detonating. Nutrients drained and the bodies released."
"Then who did this?"
They looked at the torn and eviscerated remains of a large amount of bodies as they walked around the room. Blood had flowed to the drain in the middle of the room, and filled the air. She reached down and touched one, the flesh still warm from the reanimation. One of the guards pointed to the floor. There were naked footprints in the blood, leading away, towards a dark opening at the end of the room.
"It's the door into the main medical bay. Someone must have awoken and done this. I'm not surprised with some of the people who were locked away here....."
The two guards moved to the doorway as Kim opened her neo-com and tried to call Pablo. she frowned, then cursed. The interferance from the jamming signals, the power must still be active here.
"Guys... check your comms...."
She waited....
She looked up at the doorway and saw a shape flitter past, very quick, almost a trick of the light and she walked towards it, gun out in front of her, torch showing the way. Nervous and with her heart beating she looked through the doorway and into her medical bay. Her eyes and torch took her to one place, Carmilla's clones statis tube. It was open!
"Guys? Talk to me..."
For a moment she realised that her torch was the only light in the bay. She stopped breathing and listened, hearing a faint bubbling rasp. Pointing the torch in the direction she saw the two bodied. Of the guards. They were both lying in pools of blood which were expanding, their necks cut to the bone. She backed away as she heard something, the sounds of feet, slowly walking. Throwing caution to the wind she turned and ran back to the duct and threw herself in it. Crawling as quickly as she could, not looking behind her. Not noticing the silvery eyed figure looking into ducts opening that she had just crawled into. As she reached the junction she turned, pointing her gun and torch down. It was empty, but still she felt cold daggers digging into her and she pushed on, running through the next room and diving in. Screaming at Pablo to get her up as she stood under the hole, her mind racing, hearing the scratching of something coming through the ducting after her until she was pulled up screaming and struggling.
"What happened? Where are my men?"
"Dead. Something is still alive in there. Seal this off... if anything comes out, it doesnt' matter who. Kill them. Kill them!"
"Chikita... I've never seen you like this. What is down there?"
"You don't want to know. Pray I'm wrong. Seal this hole... I need to call in some firepower if we're going back down... I need to get to the terminal."

Pablo watched her go and shrugged. For something to have scared her, it must be bad. He gave his crew orders and handed out the weapons to them and watched the lightning storm that was around them. Aaah, nothing like a good storm he though and headed to the Geisha House, and watched as the power went out.

In the lounge Kim sat infront of the terminal and listened as a party of Amarrians were enjoying themselves. The screen flashed and Ithiria appeared at the other end.
"Aah, Kim. To what do I..."
"Goddam it Ithiria. What did you do? You set the self-distruct on my Medical Bay!"
"Kim, you know better than to speak to me like that."
"Ithiria.... Get down here now. We're all in trouble. And bring Carmilla if you can. And your paladins. Bring everyone you can. We're all in troub....."
The screen went black as did the entire facility. Screams were heard, then laughter and slowly candles appeared in the hands of Geisha. Music continued to play and more candles appeared, together with lanterns. Kim turned pale. The power was down, no security, no defences. No communications off world. She hoped the girls were as good as Carmilla claimed. Hinare, still sleeping in one of the chairs started snoring gently.

Far away Ithiria watched the screen flash as the signal was disconnected. Attempts to reconnect indicated the destination signal was not transmitting or receiving. She thought about it for a moment then turned around and looked at Kaelali kneeling beside her.
"Kael, we're going to Seshala. Prepare a fighting outfit for me, and my swords."
Kaelali nodded and departed to prepare and Ithiria activated the terminal again. She pondered why the signal was down at the Geisha House, there were sufficient backups to power everything and enough warning systems there to prevent any attack. The screen flickered and Mizhara appeared on the screen, behind her her sister Gherena. With a thin smile she saw Carmilla bound and gagged in black leather and latex on the bed behind.
"Aah, my dear Wife. I hope you are free, I have need of you at the Geisha House. It seems we have a problem there, and as it's now yours I thought you should be informed."
"What sort of problem?"
"I don't know. That's the problem.... I'll meet you in orbit in an hour."

Kim pulled a bottle from the hidden alcove and poured a glass, not noticing the silver eyed figure that slipped past the windows like a wraith. As she drank and leaned back against the window looking at the main door and towards the excavation she didn't realise that only an inch of glass was between her and one of her worst nightmares. The glass fogged as the figure breathed on it, the lightning in the sky flashed, and anyone who was outside would have seen the heavily tattooed and naked form of a very familiar sebiestor.

Putting her glass down she walked towards the entrance and looked out at the excavation, not noticing the naked footprints on the floor that were being obscured by rain. She saw what she assumed was Pablo and his crew around the hole. Then, as horror slipped into her mind, she realised there was no light there, no movement. No sound. Nothing.

To be continued....