Sunday, 29 January 2012

Time Enough....

Carmilla sat at the end of the pier and looked out over the blue waters that surrounded her island. A light breeze was coming in, the scents of the sea tantalising and refreshing. Far off in the distance she could see two of her boats, driven by the geisha at play chasing each other. A smile spread over her face as she watched them and leaned over, resting her head on the shoulder of the woman next to her.

Whisper, the blind Geisha who ran the House for her slipped her arm around her and squeezed her. As if from nowhere a glass of wine was offered with the tranquil smile that was always on her face. Carm took it gratefully and poured her one.
"Come on Whisper, I dont stand on ceremony. Have one yourself."
"And what will we drink to, my Lady?"
"We will drink... to tomorrow."
Whisper raised her glass and clinked it against Carm's.
"To tomorrow...."
"To tomorrow...."

Together they sat at the end of the pier and watched and listened. Occasionally Carm would reach over and check her terminal, or her wrist-comp and sigh. But when she did Whisper would say something and make her laugh, or point out something to take her mind away, if only for a few minutes.
"There is time enough, Whisper..... there is always time enough..."

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Sister, my Sister

Enaluri Solar System - Enaluri II

Three soldiers sat with their backs to the charred wall while the fourth stared into the distance. Her helmet was pulled back on her head, a macroscanner glued to her eyes as she watch something in the morning gloom.
The three were whispering to themselves, their armour keeping them warm in the cold morning air, all of them held their weapons close at hand, and despite the conversations were alert.

The fourth soldier pulled her helmet right off and slumped down against the wall facing them, ruffling her black hair with her gloved hand she slipped the scanner back in it's slot on her belt. Looking up she could see the moon and it's acompanying station. She sighed thinking of the fleets up there battling and a yearning filled her. For a moment. Pulling out a large map she started pointing out buildings.
"The command centre is in the old barracks, the one they are defending is a decoy. Looks like a company of militia troops there, some light armour and a two thopters."
"Not much of a defence. Cargo shuttles?"
"Three, all being loaded."
"Loaded? Not unloaded?"
"Loaded. It looks like they are pulling out."
The three of them laughed softly, keeping their voices down and as one began checking their weaponry. The woman pulled her helmet back on and pressurised her suit, the vdu's in the helmet came online and the internal comms reactivated.
"Okay, we go in fast and heavy. Central, I need a light bombardment on the east side of the landing field, try and take out one of the shuttles. Set up a comm-intercept and leak half a company of militia troops incoming in apc's behind the bombardment. Authorisation Gemini Seven Seven."
She turned her head to the three troops and the corporals insignia on her helmet glowed for a moment.
"Lets rock and roll."

Corporal Isadora Selinni of the Screaming Fist Inception lead her squad on yet another attack for the Caldari State. Before her Gallente militia, behind them a string of victories and a list of insubordination that made even the General grin. As the bombardment started and she watched the fireballs rise into the sky a smile spread across her face. Here at least, she mused, no one cared about her past. No one cared that she was once a pirate, a slave and a mass murderer. Here, she murdered for the state and was damn good at it.

As she kicked in the door of the barracks and stormed in side she saw heads turn, shock on their faces, hands reaching for weapons. As shell after shell exploded from her pulse rifle she laughed. Once more, Isadora Selinni, also known as Angelina Ballentyne went to work.

Lonetrek - Classified System

Several regions away, drifting through an asteroid field a lone worm surrounded by it's contingent of drones anchored itself to a large asteroid. Inside Carmilla D'morenta watched as an area of the asteroid split apart revealing a cavernous maw into which she expertly maneauvered the frigate and its drones. A few minutes later, after docking and decanting she made her way into one of the rooms off of the small docking bay, smilling at the crew who passed her to check out her frigate. In the rec room she poured herself a large mug of tea and sat slumped looking out of the large view screen.

For a while she watched the gas giant and it's rings then closed her eyes as the sun arose from behind it, feeling the warmth in it's rays. She never knew if it really was warming her, or if it was the memories of the times planet side she had basked in a suns rays.

With a sigh she pulled her datatablet out of her bag and linked it into the tables terminal port. There was much information here about Angelina, about where she had gone and what she had done, but all of it led nowhere. Now, without that guiding light in her life she had nothing to do but find her sister. Who was missing. So she had started to search for her.

Running into Sakura had been unintentional, but she mused, it was good to see her again. Even if she had let her emotions get the better of her. She hadn't expected her to be at the Broken Drum, it was a slight surprise to see Leo there, but his reaction to her presence was tempered by his companions presence. And the piano, why had she played? What had possessed her to play that tune. Was it the message from Victor, his request for her to join his corporation and hence the Serpentis?

Was she that far gone that it seemed like a good idea? Where Victor was Gallicia was not far behind, and maybe that memory seeped to the surface. The music, the pain, the humiliation.... the servitude.
"I thought that had all changed," she whispered to no one in particular.
Her hand unconsciously slipped into her bag and brought out her quaffe box and she scowled. Shaking her self slightly and drinking her tea and pushed it away. Sakura now knew she was addicted to it, that damnable stuff. Though she reminded her about friendship and... other things. Oh Ithiria, if only I could tell you, if only I could talk to you but I know not where you are. Sometimes I wake and look around and think it is all just a dream, a test. But who knows.... when the immortals are knocked from the lofty perch truly they become men, just men. Not gods or immortals, just men.

Taking a datacrystal from her bag she slipped it into the side of the terminal. What had made her call him? Was it that every avenue she had gone down had come to nothing. Every trail in the search for her sister had gone cold, and in places even the ashes had become cold and the bodies buried. But as the terminal accessed the datacrystal it amended several of the entries and listed several more. Information that had been gleaned and kept from the public nets by the security services regarding a series of assaults and murders in a caldari station. A short vidclip of a fight between police cruisers and a Guristas battlecruiser on the borders of lowsec in Genesis. A positive genetic ID from a customs check in a Caldari backwater only partially deleted by hackers. And eventually a copy of an enlistment form in the name of Isadora Selinni and the attached picture. Angelina's dark piercing eyes stared out from under a mop of black hair.

She slept at the table, several of her crew nearby, just in case. When she awoke she silently headed to her quarters and changed. At the bottom of the wardrobe as she pulled out a heavy duster she saw the small wooden box and hesitantly stroked the surface. With a light touch she flipped open the top and looked at the chrome circle within. Guilt and a feeling of someone walking over her graved caused her to shut the box and slam the wardrobe door, the breath in her body struggling to come out and it took considerable concentration to start breathing again.

A knock at the door spun her around and she looked at the friendly familiar face of Whisper. Her blind eyes and constantly smiling face put her at ease and she breathed deeply.
"It still troubles you to open that box, doesn't it?"
"Yes... I spent so long with it... that it feels strange without it."
"You do know all you have to do is message her, call her or leave her a note."
"I know. But it goes the same way Whisper. Why hasn't she done the same?"
Whisper laughed softly and with unearing instinct slipped beside Carmilla and began walking with her
"Because my dear, she is Ithiria. Beloved of God, Holder of the Empire and bearer of much responsibility. She is most likely waiting to hear from you."
"But I...."
Whisper reached up a hand and squeezed Carms lips together gently.
"Who would have thought that after all this time you of all people would forget her place. And that is all I'll say my dear. Now come, we will be late."
The smiling Geisha walked with Carmilla through the station. Carm was silent, the words her friend had told her ringing true. But it didn't make it any easier. For at the back of her mind all she could really think of was the cost for the information she had gained. She owed a man who had once owned her sister, who her sister had hurt immeasurably. A deal with the devil as some had put it. But regardless, he had come through with his information, and now, for better or worse, she owed Esna Pitojee a favour.