Tuesday, 19 July 2011


With a brush and a bucket of hot soapy water Carmilla work tirelessly. The altar at which she stood has been used for a ritual, and had not been cleaned. It was her responsibility, her duty. As she cleaned the dried blood she smiled as she remembered the evening she had had recently.

To meet up with friends at The Skyhook, to drink and laugh and make merry. To eat and reminise and make new friends. Aaah Syn, I hope I took your mind off of the events of the past days. And Catlin, dear sweet Catlin, I hope we will see you again. The three of us together was such fun.. and reminded me of days gone by... with friends long gone.

She dropped the brush in the bucket and held her head in her hands. So many gone, shot down in flames or locked up or even just vanished. Some who just had had enough, couldn't take it anymore. Any of the shite. Even Ithiria had gone.

Looking down the corridor she sighed. Two guards were watching her, there were always guards watching her these days. Not just her, but the other slaves as well, so much had Peshars grown. And the Covenant. More of the faithful turned up every day, visitors and benefactors. Rebuilding in the shadows and the out of the way places. Here at least there was sanctuary. Here at least, there was solace.

Getting back to her feet she checked the altar and dried it with a heavy cloth and checked there was no blood anywhere. It was messy, too messy to have been a proper ritual. Another punishment. And for most it would have been, the presence of so much blood. Not for her, not for Carmilla. Blood was an ever present ally. Leaving the cleaning items in a hidden alcove she headed back to her quarters. Ever so often she had to stop and bow as a holder passed her by as if she was nothing. And yet, if she failed to bow, there would have been issues. At least her position as the alpha slave gave some..... aaaah hell, she mused. Shit is shit no matter how high it is piled.

The hot water of the showers refreshed her and the hot food she cooked invigorated her and sitting in the mess hall she pulled out her datatablet and started typing. A bemused look came across her face as she tried to send. Again she tried and it failed. She tapped into the comms.
"Central, do we have a communications blackout in effect?"
"Yes we do. If you have authorisation we can transmit. But you do not, sorry Carm, you are on the restricted list."
"Thanks Central, Carm out."
She scowled at her datatablet and poured herself a large cup of blue shade coffee. When she got back to her table she noticed her tablet flashing and tapped it. A frantic looking slave appeared on the screen.
"Carm... I'm in trouble. I need your help!"
"Calm down... what's wrong?"
"Its Max...."
"What's he done this time?"
The slave on the other end looked around and then whispered into the screen.
"He escaped."

Carm ran to the Hoarder and headed into the empty quarters and found the empty room and the frantic slave. Half of the room had been turned into a very large cage, the door was open.
"I was feeding him and he escaped, lashed me with his tail and ran."
"Max can't run that fast....."
"He can when I'm out cold. I'm sorry Carm, I thought I could handle him."
"Aaaah dont' worry. I'm only surprised he didn't eat you."
They walked down the ramp of the hoarder and called over the pilot and explained the situation. Carm scowled while he laughed.
"Look, all you have to do is get him out of here once we get him. I'm sure some of the ladies would want to use him as a handbag. Take him to Eystur, my men will be waiting."
The slave returned with a portable scanner and together they started searching.

Several hours later they stopped. Most of the accessible portions of the station had been scanned. Other areas they knew Max wouldn't have gone into being too cold.
"That just leaves the garden.... given the doors are shut he must have crawled in the access panels here and here. We can get to him from this set of panels inside the garden...."
She tapped the schematics and frowned. She didn't really want to go into the garden, or the Arboretum. For one it was sheer folly, a garden on a station that wasn't even properly patched up yet, but she hadn't just been overruled, she'd been kept out of the loop. Relana had acquiesced to the construction and just told her to make sure it didn't fail. If only they knew the fragile nature of the construction. Hopefully however, they were not in the garden.

Carmilla and the slave walked into the garden and noticed the required panels immediately and headed over to them. Between they they had removed three of them before the voice echoed all aroudn them.
"Carmilla, what are you doing in my garden?"
She turned around, cursing inside and walked over to her and bowed.
"General Maintenace Mistress. We are uh... tracing defective wiring.."
Mistress Vea looked her up and down and nodded.
"Very well, then. Carry on sharply."
"As you wish Mistress"
She ran over to the panel and looked inside. At the bottom of a conduit, with warm air circulating out past her she saw the tail of a lizard. Climbing in she looked around and squeezed the slaves arm.
"Keep a watch out. If I can get him out the way he came in I'll do it. If I have to bring him out this way they will notice and cause a fuss."
"They'll kill him... and you.. and me... this is far to risky!"
"Hold your tongue, Kai.... I'll be the one in trouble, not you. Remember who this lizard belongs to. You owe her fealty, remember."
"Yes... I remember. It's hard not to."
Carmilla smiled and slid down the conduit and came to rest behind the lizard, Max. Max was a five foot long Khanid Royal Blue, a rare and dangerous lizard found only in Khanid systems, and highly restricted. This one, was a special one, even by lizard standards. It's owner had an impressive pedigree. She held her hand by it's head and it's tongue flickered out. With a sigh she picked up the lizard and slung it over her shoulder as she had done hundreds of times before and climbed out into the garden. Kai fastened the panels back and they both started walking quickly towards the gate.

Vea looked up from her conversation with Yu ki and her smile dropped. She watched as the two slaves carried what looked like a large lizard between them.
"What the frell?"
"Is that thing dead?"
Carmilla turned to the two holders and shook her head as the lizard flicked its tongue into her ear.
"No... just stunned. It'll be back in it's cage by the time it wakes up."
She had not stopped moving when being questioned and started running to the door.
Vea looked after then with incredulous look on her face.
"Cage? We keep things like that on this station? For what frelling reason?"
But the slaves had gone, her anger at being ignored however had not.

Carmilla and Kai ran onto the Hoarder and together put the lizard back into it's cage. They walked over to the pilot who looked at the lizard with interest.
"Kai, stay with the lizard, at least until this blows over. Vee's going to be pissed and Rel isn't here to keep her in check. Not that she would that much, but it might save my life."
"I can't leave the station! They'll have me on the altar!"
"Kai! You serve a much more powerful holder. Ithiria. They can do nothing to you. I told you this when I brought you here. Trust me... and look after Max."

She watched the hoarder take off and depart the station. Poor Max, she would miss him. But needs must. And anyway, what she had seen in that conduit shouldn't have been there. She would go back there. One way or another to get the answers. With a sigh she tapped away at her datatablet as she headed to the medical bay. A soft scan first, these things needed to be remembered. Even if she didn't want to remember the look on the dessicated faces, or the bodies chained to the wall of the hidden chamber.

"Goddam Max, what have you uncovered."

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