Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Shopping Trip

She awoke... the darkness oppressive... the bulk of the Overseer pressing against her body... his snoring loud in her ear... his hands resting on her body... his arousal digging into her back. Now was as good a time as any she thought, and coughed loudly, hearing him wake from his slumber, she writhed against him. His hands roaming her body, moving her around easily, making his access to her easier.

Ten minutes later, their cries of passion once more silent, as the Overseer slept she crept out of the bed and over to the table where her bag lay. Guided by instinct and memory she moved her hand past the knife and picked up the small pill pot, peeling a drug patch off of a roll. Pulling back the heavy sheets she carefully placed the patch on his leg, smoothed it down and sighed softly. The soporific patch would be absorbed into his skin in an hour or so and he would be dead to the world for another three.

Taking her bag she walked over to the security panel and tapped in the numbers she had seen him use before and the security screen opened for her. Time was now of the essence, pulling out her datatablet and slipping access leads into the various ports she began to run the program loaded into the backup memory. Mentally she counted down, if it took too long the system would issue a code and demand the counter code, which she didn't have. And it was doubtful she'd be able to make it out of the quarters before they were sealed and pumped full of anestazine gas.

A laughing gurista symbol flashed on the screen as the hacking program finished and she began searching through menues, deactivating security grids, pulling up floor plans and eventually found what she was looking for. A few minutes later, clad from head to toe in black she hefted her bag and touched an area of wall, a secret panel opening up and she headed down into a climate controlled room. Carved stone covered every inch of space and wooden racks lined every wall. Each rack was filled with row after row of bottles. She looked over the bottles, a smile on her face and pulled a crate from an ante-chamber and started pulling select bottles from their rack, running a careful eye over them as she looked, mentally calculating the worth of these old bottles, and the potential taste of their contents.

".... and I said we have to check it out."
She froze at the voice. It was unexpected. What had she missed? Her eyes scanned around and looked over the walls, the ceilling, the floor... and rested on the temperature gauge on the wall. Damn!
"The temperature drops and we have to check it? He'll have our guts if we wake him..."
"And our guts if we don't... now look, this door is open...."
Picking up the crate she slipped some straps aroudn it and pulled it onto her back. The weight was more than she expected, but it wouldn't be for long. Slowly she pulled the two tazers from her pocket and waited.

The two guards walked into the wine cellar, their pistols held out before them. The first tazer shot took one in the chest as he turned towards her, the second missed the other guards. She ducked down as the first few shots from his gun ploughed into racks, smashing bottles and raining wine over her and the floor. Taking a young bottle of white she flung it at the guard, catching his arm, then leapt at him swiftly kicking him back and punching him out. Shaking her fist she ran up the stairs and out into the corridor. Behind her sirens were sounding and she could hear the sound of heavy boots running down the corridor. Stopping at the barrier she looked down, the next platform was twenty feet down, beyond that another twenty. The gravity was lower... but was it enough? It would have to be. She slipped over the side and dropped.

Pain lanced up her ankle as she walked quickly along the walkway towards the turbo-lifts to the hanger bay. On her right the the ornate tracery of the baroque architecture of the station allowed the illusion of being open to space, where a powerful field kept the space out and the air in. A marvel of technology. Behind her there were three thumps as guards followed her down. She started to run, and guard poured out from the turbo-lifts. She tapped her wrist comp then waved a gun at the guards, putting a few shots above their heads.
"Hoborok, this is Carm. I'm in trouble, I need an out!"
"We read you, where are you?"
"Walkway Gamma-C9, spinward."
"Carm. You might not like this... but I'm on my way. Give me two minutes and I'll get you."
"Goddam Hobbie, I have guards fifty feet away on both sides!"
"Hold them off for a minute, then jump over the railing. Don't worry... I'll catch you... just remember a minute after you jump... expell all the air from your lungs."
"Hobbie! This sounds...."
"Carm... it's me... trust me....."

She fired a few more shots at both directions as she counted in her mind. Somewhere she could hear more sirens, louder and more severe. Looking out the window into space she saw the flash and the decelearation of a machariel, the sigil of the Angel Cartel vivid on it's hull. She jumped over the edge.

The Machariel of Hoborak Moon, a highly recognisable ship powered towards the station. It's weapon systems targetting structures and nearby vessels, firing and changing target quickly to get maximum confusion. Sitting on his command throne he magnified the image before him and watched Carmilla leap over the edge.
"Tractor beam control. Lock onto this frequency and prepare to tractor her aboard as fast as you can."
"Sire, it'll be dangerous. She may not survive."
"If she doesn't... you won't. I know you are good. Be better!"

As she fell she counted and blew out her breath as she felt the crushing of the tractor beam aroudn her, dragging her out into space. Cold more intense than imagination struck her body, pain struck every inch of her body and she felt herself start to die in the cold vacuum of space until a cargo door opened and she was unceremoniously dropped onto the floor. With a flash the airlock closed and air was pumped in. She gasped and screamed and collapsed to the floor. Moments later the inner doors opened and angel medics picked her up and whisked her away to the medical bay.

"I've never seen someone take so many risks over booze before Carm."
"Well I've never seen an Angel Commander attack a station on his own to rescue his favorite geisha."
"Aaah, if you were a tad uglier, and you danced like a heifer on the way to the slaughter house I'd have left you to fall to your doom. But you are my favorite and I like your exploits. Are all the bottles safe?"
"Yes.. it looks like it. A few for my Mistress, a few more for Ithiria. One for Sakura. This one however, is for you. When I originally marked it for collection... it was for Ithiria's wife... but that ship has sailed, so here. A classic bottle of wine. Drink it Hobbie, savour the taste of it...
"Pah, wine is wine is wine...."
"I'll teach you... come by the Geisha House. I'll teach you to enjoy fine wine."
"Good It's a date. But first, I need to drop you off at a bar for some of my friends, I have to be elsewhere and I'll arrange a lift for you."
Carmilla repacked the crate and hefted it.
"Good. Where is it? I don't really want to run into anyone I know."
Hoborak grinned and pulled Carmilla into a fierce hug.
"Worry not my little Geisha. It's an angel bar. Your associates are most likely not going to be there."

An hour later a happy and crate totting Carmilla walked into the new bar. Converted from an old ore silo, it's name was quite simply, The Silo. Smiling as she entered she made her way to the bar and poured a drink. Here she mused, no one would know here. The chances of anyone finding her here until the heat died down was mathmatically obscure.
"Carmilla? What are you doing here?"
She turned and looked at the end of the bar. Sakura! One of Ithiria's vassals and a friend to her Mistress.
"Sakura," She smiled, mind working overtime,"Never expected to see you here....."
Goddam, she thought to herself. Goddam!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Estate Bound part 1

Carmilla walked up to the edge of the gate and leant against it. Resting her forehead on the Deritan crest she closed her eyes and let the cool morning breeze invigorate her. Behind her the vast Deritan Estate was waking up, those portions at least, who had the luxury of waking up when they pleased.

The sun broke through the cloud it was behind and shone down over her and she looked down the road. Far in the distance she could see the convoy moving this way. Already behind her the guards were standing to attention, being drilled by the arch-paladin.

At this distance she couldn't make out many details, but already she knew from the lack of security it wasn't her Mistress. Still though, she waited.

Under the heat of the sun she shivered as she looked up. There was a feeling she recognised, moments later sirens started to sound, explosions began to form around the convoy, heavy... orbital bombardment! With a flicker and glimmer the estate shields started to come online but it was too little too late. Someone was sleeping, the next salvo took out the shield generator in a furious blast. The Estate was open to attack! Already shapes were descending from orbit, from the look... here, the slave compounds and the warehouses.

They dared to attack her Mistresses estate... they would pay!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Wonderful things

There are things that happen to us. Terrible things. Things that we want to happen. There is no chance that we can stop, the ride is too fast, too long... to furious. It cannot be stopped, only endured and experienced. We few, we happy few.... we are going to experience terrible things....

.... wonderful things....

Things like piracy....
Feeling your ship shudder underneath you as another volley fires into the target. Doesn't matter who the enemy is, what they stand for... loyalist or rebel, miner or trader... I want what they have. I want their ship peeled back like an overripe fruit that has burst....

Things like violence....
Fighting in the taverna on whatever planet we visited. Drunk and in the mood for fighting. Fists pounding, boots kicking, bodies flying. Patrons and security fighting with the rogues of the meatshields. There is no such thing as bad odds as more pile in. We will fight til we go down, but we will go down fighting.

Things like love....
Sitting with Kazeraith and their son, watching the sun go down. The moons and the planet bright in the sky, the sounds of the reserve, the animals and birds loud. So peaceful, so tranquil. Here at least, there are things happening. The love of a woman for her man. For their son. Two reasons to live, two reasons to fight. Two reasons to do what ever it takes... to stay free. For this man, for their son... she would bathe a world in blood, commit the sins of the mother again... all for love....

Things like... memory.....
So many months ago.. or was it years... time is fleeting and memory fades with age. The time spent with Carmilla, with Kim, with Esna, poor sweet Esna.... There was something there once... a respect, an understanding, a reason to live when the universe wanted her flayed alive and nailed to the wall... yet to remember the betrayal, so vivid so painful... so necessary... Or Ithiria. Pain cannot compare to the feelings inside when she was betrayed. Memories of servitude, memories of her touch, her love... her eyes.... and yet nightmares of the flight... away from her, slave no more... not to Esna... not to Ithiria... Remember the word.... freedom....

Such are the things that I fight for now.... Kazeraith... our son.... to escape my memories... and live free. No more will I be chained or collared or enslaved. For that I leave to Carmilla, ever was her way to submit, though never was she very good at it.... My heart is Kazeraiths, bound with chains that cannot be seen, tempered by fire and love. To be apart from them, for I must as people still chase me, still hound me.... that to me is terrible... and so I am terrible in turn.

Behold, I am back. Angelina... the darkness rises, the heretic is reborn, once more I will show the universe what fear means. I will show them terrible things....

Wonderful things....

Friday, 13 May 2011

Cleansing Technology

The humilation and failure burned as she ran through the ship. Laughter, loud and sinister echoed through the ships inter-com. Taunting and mocking echoing in her head as she fled what she thought she knew. Once again she had asked and been refused, pleaded and been denied, begged in tears and it had not made the slightest bit of difference.

Blood trickled down her face from the whip mark she had left, the anger in her eyes, the curl of her lip. And that anger had brought up the tattoos, the tribal markings vivid on her skin. And the hate had burned!

Ithiria knew Carmilla of old, knew the signs. Knew she could have taken her under normal circumstances, but as the tattoos flared, she knew this was not normal circumstances. Stepping back behind a line of paladins she watched, impassively as the one who was once her most treasured possession fought with her personal guards before fleeing. She pressed the button on her wrist comp, almost feeling the tiny jabs from the slave collar as drugs were pumped into her.
"Let me know when you find her. And when you do, throw her off the ship."
The paladin commander turned and nodded.
"Where shall we send the shuttle?"
"No. When you find her throw her off the ship."
"I'm sorry, I...."
Ithiria back handed the commander and stormed towards her quarters, shouting as she went.
"When you find her, throw her out the fucking airlock!"

Carmilla ran, the drugs flushing into her system, her eyes blurring pain lancing through her. Crew members moved out of the way and she ran until one didn't move and she fell over. Looking up through eyes that were fading all she noticed before she blacked out was the suit, pure white.

Victor picked his sister up and walked back the way he came and boarded his ship, handing her over to his second. He rubbed his chin and wondered and shook his head, calling control and arranging for departure he walked back and looked over the medical readouts. His second was programming a machine and cursing softly in gallentey and started to inject her.
"This will counteract the poison, I think..."
Taking a pair of glasses out he slipped them on and looked at the readouts.
"You go and get us out of here. Take us to Eystur, I have need of my lab. Carm, Carm.... what have you got in you this time...."

Carm woke up slowly, feeling the tubes in her arms and licked dry lips.
"Where... am I?"
"Oh your'e safe little sister."
"Vic.... my knight in .... a white suit.... what happened?"
"Oh, the usual.... you went off on one to Ithiria when she refused to take you back as a slave... isn't that getting old now?"
"And then? There must be more...."
"Oh you tried to attack her for some reason, you were babbling about tattoos in your delirium... then she gave shipwide orders for you to be thrown out of the nearest airlock... so I picked you up... I already sorted it out with Ithiria. I gave her something to... placate her."
He looked up at the machines beeped.
"Did I say something?"
"How is your nannite research coming? With regards to tattoos?"
"You should know, you used to have them."
"How gooda re you at removing them?"
Victor looked at her. And smiled.
"Funny you should mention that...."

A mobile stand held the IV and medication bottles and she walked with him to the laboratory. Through several airlocks they came to a last doorway, a medical ward with armed guards standing outside and inside. Together they entered, and Carm looked around gasping. Every one of the twenty beds held a member of the minmatar race.
"I had a contract from a nice Amarrian Lady to sort her slaves out. Seems their tattoos give them ideas above their station, and removing the skin just leaves more permanant tattoos. So she came to me, care of your good friend Gallicia....."
"Forget the sales talk Vic, does it work?"
"Yes. It doesn't even cause any pain. Though she was upset at that..."
"I need some."
"How much?"
"Enough to rid Ithiria of those cursed tattoos. She needs to be reminded what it means to be a member of the Khanid nobility."
He chuckled,"That sounds funny coming from you, a Minmatar slave girl. Bit presumptious isnt' it?"
"It has to be done.... and the sooner the better."
"You won't be able to do it... you're in no fit state..."
"Find someone. It needs to be done. As soon as possible. She needs to be cleansed."

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Dance of the Three Kings

The Aeon Throneship 'Hand of Faith' floated in the depths of Khanid space. The light from the distant star illuminated the bronze hull and played over the corporate logo that proclaimed the ship most comfortable in the darkest night. Other ships surrounded her, battleships and carriers, battlecruisers and frigates. In a universe where nowhere can be truly safe, here at least the owner of the Aeon felt safe. And yet she still did not appear for the festivities that were in full swing.

For a people well versed in the stars there is little that cannot be viewed as ceremonial when it refers to lunar cycles. An entire deck of the throneship was being used for a ceremonial festival, the dance of the three kings. All around those who had been invited, a wide variety of capsuleers and non-caps, influential people from hundreds of worlds. Amarr brushed shoulder with Gallentey, Caldari with Minmatar. Admirals of the fleet chatted with smugglers, customs officials with haughty pilots, the flashes of the Serpentis, Gurista, Angel all worn openly. Here, for the duration of the festival all were under the protection, and the domination, of the Holder Ithiria Deritan. From her throne in the main chamber, while the throng danced to traditional khanid music, she watched from behind a painted mask.

The dance of the three kings refered to a time when the Seshala system was ruled by three kings, long before the reunification. And for the festival costumes were required by custom, long flowing dresses for the women in daring cuts and radiant colours. White robes for the men, or short tunic and metal breastplates. Aboard one of the most technological wonders, hundreds partied as if they would have done many many years ago.

A multitude of servants swept through the crowd like a hidden wave, refilling glasses, taking plates, answering calls and directing people. Various slaves were noticed, hidden behind, or kneeling beside those that owned them. Most looked on without noticing them, occasionally scurrying away to fulfil a task, or keeping their eyes open, looking about them with keen eyes and open ears.

Standing by the side of the throne Sakura Imoru, vassal to the House Deritan stood watching the assembled crowd. Every now and then an individual or a couple would stand at the bottom of the throne and toast Ithiria, then return and mingle. With her hand on the sword in her belt, and the mask covering her face she watched on impassively.
"Quite a turn out. There are even a few faces here I know from my time before."
"Yes, more than a few were happy to hear that I was back. Though they were not sure about the lack of slaves...."
"Things change, you are a Holder, chosen of the Khanid. It is your right to have slaves."
She sighed under the mask.
"My right yes, but while I am married to Mizhara, there are certain considerations that have to be.... endured."
She hissed and made a gesture with her hand, the perfectly painted nail shimmering in the light.
"There is no question. It is how it is. Carmilla understood this, so you can too."
Sakura nodded and kept her vigil by the throne.
"Anyway, I dare say that Carmilla will be here shortly... once the festivities start. I do believe that she will not approve of them."
Ithiria laughed, a low chuckle that echoed inside the mask.
"Do not worry Sakura, everything is proceeding according to plan."

At the appointed time the major domo slammed his staff on the ground of the main chamber and naked servents, dressed only in layers of gold and blue paint began to usher people off of the floor.
"Ladies, Gentlemen, honoured Nobles! On this day may years ago, the three kings of the Seshala system would come together on the full moon. The three of them, with their courtiers and their subjects would make their way to the grand arena, an ancient building of yore, and there they would pit their champions against one another. The winner, so we are lead to believe would indicate who would rule Seshala for that year."
As he spoke men and women, garbed in archaic armour and wielding swords, shields and spears made their way into the the throne room. With a silent hiss the central floor began to retract revealing a lowered floor covered with sand. Each champion leapt into the small arena. It was obvious to those who watched that once in, they would only be coming out when whoever was operating the machinery let them. The major domo walked around the areana.
"This here is a poor substitute, but one must make do...." Laughter from the audience made him smile.
"But for your pleasure, Holder Deritan gives you the champions of Seshala. To fight to the death! As it was in the days of yore!"

A silence fell over the crowd, which turned quickly into a crescendo of applause. Large screens throughout the deck and ship came on showing the arena. As each champion paraded around, the Major Domo psyched up the crowd, other servants began taking bets from the guests. From behind the throne a woman approached, clad all in black with a shimmering mask covering her face, only an amarr sigil showing on the curving illuminescence. She bowed to Ithiria then took her place opposite Sakura, without a word.
"Let the first fight begin!"

On her throne Ithiria watched as the champions saluted her then paired up and began to fight. Ten champions, a solid mix of the races fought each other. The skill and determination on them obvious, and yet one by one they succumb until only two remained. With a strike of his staff the Major Domo walked around the edge.
"Aaaah, the heady combat between champions comes down now to two. But this is not enough, for we know that you like to see these fights. So we have.... something new. If I may.... the Holder Deritan no longer holds slaves, and as such those she once held were given their freedom. A most noble and humanitarian sentiment, the freeing of slaves. Some of you here would laugh at such things, but it was done. Her slaves were given their freedom....."

Ithiria sat on her throne and watched, a security feed to her showing her the guards outside the main chamber bringing their wards with them. The Major Domo kept on talking and with a wild flourish the doors opened and the guards brought in the first two struggling ex-slaves.

"Freedom however... has to be earned.... and here in the Arena where the champions of Kings fought... these ex-slaves will fight for you. It is even possible that one or two of your noble guests may wish to test the blades you have been given...."

The three on the throne watched as the first two were thrown bodily in, to the cheers of the crowd. Weapons were dropped to them. At the far end, the two remaining champions, still weary of each other, advanced on the two screaming men.

Hours passed as the blood thirsty combat raged. The sands of the arena running red with blood and only one person stood standing. A slave of one of the guests, well trained in the fighting arts. From outside the chamber the screams of someone could be heard and the sounds of fighting. Sakura went to check and was restrained by Ithiria.
"Carmilla is here, she's been watching and is doubtlessly unhappy. Bring out the last two and get them ready to be put into the arena. Then... let Carmilla in."

The door to the chamber opened and Carmilla walked in. Naked but for a collar and her wrist cuffs she walked through the crowd with a dignity that had no place being there. Standing at the edge of the arena she looked down and snarled.
"What is this? Are you barbarians? Savages?"
"This is ceremony, slave! Know your place! Now enter the arena and fight for your freedom."
"Freedom? Why would I? Is my freedom worth the death of the three slaves I see before me?"
"Yes. You are a slave, your freedom is worth what ever price your Mistress places on your head. Now fight!"
Carmilla threw her head back and screamed.
"But you will! This slave here, who has fought so valiently, it is the Holder Deritans wish that he be freed. He has fought well for his Master and brought him much honour! Unlike this sebiestor slut who will not enter the arena!"

The guards withdrew the coverings from the heads of the ex-slaves they held and looked up. The woman in black nodded her head and they pushed them in. Turning to them the slave advanced slowly upon the two women.
"See here, Carmilla, slave.... two of Ithiria's hand maidens. Melissa and Tanith. Freed from their slavery... but only you can save them. Fight! And free them, and free yourself. Or let them die... and forever will you be known as that which you are! A slave. Bound to serve with no thought for your own. Only obedience and submission."

The two handmaidens cried and screamed and begged Carmilla. After a while, there was silence as the slave turned. Carmilla had dropped into the arena. The slaves owner uttered a few words of Amarri and three more jumped in behind him, stripping to the waist. Carmilla, bare fists clenched started to walk towards them, gracefully.

It was over quickly. She held the two handmaidens in her arms and comforted them while looking up at the edge of the arena and saw the woman in black looking down, well she knew who she was and scowled.
"Oh Carmilla," she spoke in her lilting sing song gallentey voice,"a slave killed a free man. I'm afraid you will be staying in the arena a lot longer now."
The black mask turned to the guests and she spread her arms wide.
"The Holder Deritan wished it known that the slave Carmilla has killed a free man. Any who wish to descend and put her to death for such... you are welcome to do so and will incur no wrath from any of us. This slave needs to be punished, and this is a fitting time to do so!"
Even before she had finished the first challenger had leapt into the arena. Proud and trained in the noble arts of war, executioner to a thousand unruly slaves. He had never faced anything like Carmilla. Nor had the next. Or the next. or the next.

Sunday, 1 May 2011


As soon as they had returned to the Hand of Faith Stephani noticed a change in Carmilla. The vibrancy that was there just a few short hours ago was now muted, her smile now absent. At the bottom of the ramp of the shuttle four guards met them.
"Carmilla, you are to come with us. Stephani will be escorted back to your quarters."
"Go with them Steph... I'll be allright."

With Steph gone the guards turned back to Carmilla. Chains were attached to her wrists and she was led towards a place she did not want to go. Already resigned to what was going to happen, she did not give them any trouble.

A woman sat atop the throne that looked down over the temple. The walls and floor were pure white, the ceiling an ornate tapestry of coloured glass. At places around the wall paladins in white body armour and robes watched on impassively. Carmilla's chains were slotted into sockets in the floor and the guards departed. Silence filled the room, save for the occasional rattle of chains. A singsong gallentey voice sang out from the throne, as well as a cloud of smoke from her cigarette.

"What am I going to do with you, slave? You were given orders, specific orders and managed to get yourself kidnapped. You know the penalty for such... failure....."
Carmilla bridled at such a rebuke.
"What failure? I followed my...."
The woman stubbed out her cigarette and leapt off the throne, storming towards her.
"How dare you speak out of turn. If I said you failed, you failed. You let yourself get drunk, like a common whore and put yourself and your ward in a position where you were kidnapped!"
Her hand whipped around, backhanding Carm, knocking her to the floor.
"Because of you I was called back. Well, now you are mine. My slave. My bitch. My property..... And I like my slaves to bleed."
She clicked her fingers and Carm turned around, watching the burly brutor approach. His skin was as black as night and he carried a heavy whip.
"No.... I did nothing wrong! I protected her!"
"You protected a slave, when you should have protected your Mistress. You need to be taught a lesson.... where do you belong slave?"

Carmilla looked up at the tall gallentey with a look of horror in her eyes. She heard the whip move through the air and felt the band of fire across her back. The brutor whipped her hard as the woman sat on the throne and watched the judgement being handed out. Blood spattered the floor, the walls. Even when Carm had falled forward, not able to stand anymore the punishment continued.

"Where do you belong slave?" She heard the words rattling in her head as she faded into unconsciousness.

She awoke hours later in the medical bay. Four guards surrounding her. A dull pain wracked through the heavy painkillers that had been given to her. The doctors and nurses tended to her back. Blood and iv drips linked into her arms as she laid there under their ministrations. The words still ringing in her head.... where do I belong....