Thursday, 29 December 2011

Intermission - World of Tanks

Just a break from the Eve blog :)

I have finally managed to get into one of my favorite tanks, the Jagdpanzer IV. And gawd it's been a hell of a journey as I don't bother doing one tree, I have several tanks going, as you can see from the bottom. But this one, I just love the look of it, and now I have it upgraded to nearly the max, only one gun left to get, I'm finding I can cope vs the tier VII, VIII and IX's a hell of a lot better :D Going to keep going on this one and get the Jadgpanther, the second most beautiful tank there is in game :)

Then there is my russian beast, the KV. I have a lot of fun in this tank, even though I'm not going any further. Dont like the other russian tanks, except for one of the tank hunters.... but can't be arsed as even though it kicks ass, I prefer the one above.

The only other tank I'm really looking to get is the Tiger, and maybe the Panther, but it'll take a lot of gaming to get it :) it's free to play and it's fun :)

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Search for Truth

From the balcony of the hotel Carmilla looked down upon the bustling station city below her. She sighed heavily as she listened to the party behind her and shivered in the cold. The long red dress she was wearing was not much against the cold, but was fashionable, and her wrap was somewhere by the bar.

Looking up through the great crystal dome the trails of the ships coming and going lit up the sky. Most of them capsuleers, flying in heaven. No longer men, but gods, deities swept along by the wings of angels. So many years she had been out with them, but now, her mind was blank to those she knew..... as if she was new born. But it was still.... intimidating. And lonely.

An arm slipped around her waist and a man pulled himself beside her. She looked up and smiled. One of her new friends, a captain in Republic Fleet, all chrome interfaces and tribal tattoos. When she had first seen him, the interplay of the chrome pod interfaces and how they were intertwined fluently with the patterns on the tattoos were mesmerising. And now that she had seen them upclose, all over his more than perfect body, he was still mesmerising.
"What are you thinking of?"
"Oh, just thinking of all the things I'm going to do to you tonight."
He hesitated then laughed as he steered her towards the open windows and the party. It was a forced laugh, she realised, one he wasn't intending. She turned around and looked back out the window, but up this time. There, one of the ubiquitous news drones, ever recording, reporting and monitoring. I wonder....

As they walked into the party again she looked around, a smile on her face and she brushed her long white hair back from her shoulders. Again she played the game she played ever day. Two suits in the corner, heavy set slabs of meat, guards for someone, been watching her since she entered the station. Tall woman with the cats eyes and long nails, looking at her out of the corner of her eyes, in mirrors, every way except direct. Short gallente officer, long white fleet coat, fake arm and the constant scent of cinnamon and copper.....

At the bar she pulled out her quaffe box and slipped a vial into the applicator. Already she could feel the concentric waves of pain that were rolling over her like fog. A gentle pressure and relief settled in, that certain sharpness. A giggle as she put the box away and looked up at the brutor. He handed her a drink and she took it, knocking it back quickly. A faint acrid, yet familiar taste on the end, residue in the bottom of the glass.
"Dance with me? Make me feel wanted?"
He laughed, the corners of his mouth twisting into a spiral before he whirled her out and started to dance. The sound of the music, the laughter of the people in the room and the constanc cacophony of noise began to irk her and caused her to snap her head around to quick sounds. All around people were pointing at her and laughing, hook nailed fingers pointing, mouths filled with serrated teeth thrown back and laughing, cackling. Coldness caressed her body and she watched as red flowed over the floor and away from her.

The captain twirled her and stood back, laughing and pointing at her. When she stopped she looked down, her nakedness was on show for everyone to see. Fear gripped her, fear compounded by the drugs slipped to her and the effect of the vitoc and she ran, ran where the crowd seemed to chase her, out the window onto the patio.
"Fly, my pretty! Fly to safety! Spread your wings..... you slave whore....."
The words and laugher became less as she ran, hands over her ears, eyes closed and she hit the railing, tottering and falling.....

A band of steel gripped her right ankle and for a moment the building slammed into her, knocking the air out of her. The bitterly cold wind howled around her and for a moment she realised she was upside down, on the wrong side of the balcony, naked.
As she hung, not caring to look up she watched the city and wondered where the sound of fighting was coming from, then watched as people flew past her. Somewhere in her drugged mind she wondered why they were flying without wings, and spread her arms and flapped them. Slowly she started laughing and was pulled over the side and she looked up into the rather unfriendly face of one of the slabs. He looked down at her, she looked up at him, then clapped her hand to her mouth, bent over and vomitted all over his shoes. He picked her up and swung her over his shoulder and walked into the mess of the party and picked up her dress and her wrap while his partner opened the doors and walked out. Then she blacked out.

She awoke to the smell of hot coffee and stirred cautiously, her head pounding. Sitting up and holding a head to her ear to stop her brain from jumping out she sighed and worked out it was from whatever she had been drinking, rather than the vitoc. Opening her eyes she looked around and blinked. The slabs, and several other people, were looking at her intently.
"Uuuh... hello?"
"If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I'd never have believed it."
One of the slabs held out a cup of coffee to her and she took it, sipping it and making a face.
"God, that's rough. If this is some sort of torture device then I'll tell you everything."
Everyone laughed, but they stayed looking at her. As she looked over the faces, none of them looked familiar, though a feeling at the back of her mind made her believe she wasn't in any danger.
"Well, you do prefer tea to coffee. And I'm sorry."
"About what?"
"About your loosing your memory. If it makes you feel any better, even if you don't remember any of us, we are still your crew."
"How do you....."
"Oh come on. Like you would have even given that guy the time of day. Especially after what you did to him. They still call him gelding behind his back."
There was a sniggering behind them as the group began moving around and heading out.
"I can't believe it... I want my life back!"

She stood up and walked around the room, looking from case to case at the pieces of art that were around her.
"I know all this don't I? I mean, I'm supposed to. This all means something to me?"
"This is all yours. You acquired it all."
"What am I? Some kind of thief? For the love of whatever god there is out there, tell me what I am!"
The slab took her hands in his and led her over to a wall and he pointed up as a curtain parted revealing a life size painting. Carmilla looked at it and took a step back, her hand reaching up to her neck, a feeling at the back of her head, a powerful emotion. She shivered.
"Who is that?"
The slab looked up at the picture. It showed a young khanid woman, dressed in the robes of a holder, a look of tranquility upon her face, yet the artist managed to show the haggard look in her eyes. It didn't take away from the beauty of the woman, but it did show that there was more to her than it looked. Many times he had looked at this painting to try and think about what she was thinking, and always he came up with a new answer. Her left hand was resting on the shoulder of a woman kneeling before her, a naked woman, collared and tattooed. Her head was raised, a look on her face of contentment, a slight smile on her lips. She was looking up at the holder. Pride, love, respect.... all that was painted there. The chome collar at her neck proclaiming her place. He cleared his throat as he kept looking.
"That, my dear.... is your wife."
"But why am I like that? On my knees, collared and naked?"
"Because, that was where you wanted to be. That was where you were happy and content. That, Carmilla, was also your Mistress."
Silence. He squeezed her hand and sighed softly.
"At least, that is how we remember it. Things have not been as they were recently, even before your memory loss."
"I dont understand. I don't believe it, it seems unreal."
"Then maybe the place we are going to will make it seem more real. We are packing up here, the lads will take all this and we are going. I think after this evening we will be unwelcome here."
"Then where are we going?"
Before he could reply she turned around and looked behind her.
"Did you hear that?"
"That woman... I'm sure other people must be able to hear her. I can't be going mad. There is someone following me and whispering to me....."
"What did they say? What did they sound like?"
"....Seshala.... there is something there I need to see."
The slab frowned and looked at her.
"You sure your memory has still gone?"
"Yes? Why?"
"That... is where we are going. To your place."
Carmilla looked back up at the picture. Again, intense emotion ran through her head, powerful and intense. And still, she didn't remember.

It only took a handful of hours to load the entire contents of the offices and warehouse into the transports. All through Carm walked around and looked at things, read inscriptions, tried to remember. Anger was building up within her and as the last crate was moved out she looked at the empty rooms. Tears came to her eyes, but it was more from the whispers at the back of her mind than anything else. She walked out without looking back and followed the men to the transports.

For the whole journey she kept to her cabin and refused to come out. She had been given a list of her old passwords and the datatablet she found in the locker when she had come out of the cryo-chamber now gave out it's secrets. She read them, horror intermingled with shock, pride, sadness and, occasionally, revulsion. But above all it was noticed, that even to the last there was only love for her wife, Ithiria.

The knock at her cabin door awoke her from her daydreams and she opened the door and looked out. She smiled weakly.
"Hi.. are we there yet?"
He laughed and gestured with his head.
"We're in the orbital warehouse, a shuttle is waiting for you. There are people down there who have prepared and know you are coming."
"What people?"
"Your friends. You'll see."
"I'm scared...."
"No need to be. That's what friends are for."

Stepping out from the shuttle she looked up into the blue sky of Seshala. The fresh breeze from the ocean was rustling her hair and she breathed deeply, remembering the sensations. She walked down the path towards what looked like the entrance to the building. The structure was massive and in the old khanid style. As she cast her eyes over it she looked to the rear and gasped. She looked up and saw the statue, the vast forty meter tall statue of Ithiria.
"By the sacred moons....."
"It's good, is it not, Carmilla?"
A soft singsong voice appeared behind her and she turned around and looked at.....

I've had enough. This is pure torture, I cannot bear it.

And what makes you think you can escape?

This is my head, my brain, my soul if you will
She stood and paced up and down, somewhere in the distance the sound of thunder started rolling in
I will not go quietly into the night, not any more!

As if people care who you are
Slave... failure... even your wife has cast you aside

You are nothing, no one cares, no one notices

I am Carmilla Deritan!

The slave? The warrior? The poet? The miner? What are you? What makes you special?

The scream started low, but built up quickly. Glasses shattered, the great screen before them cracked and exploded....

Carmilla clutched her head and fell to her knees, a silent scream echoed in her ears. Images, visions filled her mind, her eyes. Memories flashed into being, echoes of someone else running her life. The silent scream ended and became a roar of anger as she shot to her feet and waved her fist at the sky and screamed blasphemous names at the sky.

When she stopped she took a deep breath and turned around. A petite blind woman wrapped in a crimson kimono was standing next to the slab. Both were smiling. She took in her surroundings and ran her hand through her hair as she bit her lip.
"What.... the hell....."
Turning back she looked at the little geisha.
"Whisper... what's going on? what am I doing here? And what the hell happened to my hair?"
The slab grinned and slapped her arm and pulled her into a tight bear hug.
"You're back! Thank everything... your back...."
Carmilla looked around a little bemused and sighed.
"God I feel like I havn't been myself... "
"You havn't.. not for a while."
"Aaaah, why does it always happen to me. Tell Ithiria that I'll attend to her as soon as I....."
"About Ithiria Carm...."
She turned back to the little geisha who had lost her smile.
"What about her... what's wrong..."
Scratching her neck she realised something was missing and patted her pockets with a look of horror on her face.
"Where is my collar... where is my bag? Where is Ithiria???"