Friday, 24 February 2012

Letter to a Sister

Dear Angelina....

I hope this letter gets to you as I'm sure some of the ones I have sent you before must have just not arrived. Or maybe they did and you just havent' had the time to reply. You are fighting a war after all! It's been too long since I was in a good war, one that actually meant something and had a point. But, there are times when I just prefer to mine rather than fight. Hell, I even went through low sec near our old industrial base and it was so empty, no one noticed I was there.

I spoke to our parents just the other day. They both send their best wishes and love. Father is trying to get me to take more of an interest in my heritage again, I remember how well that went last time, though I can see his point. My work with the distrubution side of the corp has shown me the horrors that exist below the minmatar society. In truth I didn't know that it existed to that level, I'd heard rumours naturally, but getting there was... an experience. I think I now have a bit more respect for certain people than I did before. Father has given me some pointers, places to go, people to speak to. Mother did the same, but it was a more esoteric list. I still think she hasn't forgiven me for what I did. But as I told you before, no one raises their hand to her and lives.

Oh I almost forgot to mention. I was murdered last week! I still have to find out who it was who did it, though the main suspect is Eliza. Why... I'm not sure, though I did start a bar fight with her before I was thrown out of the Broken Piano. Why? Again, I'm not sure. But it did create something unique.... apparently a few weeks before I had let Ithi collar me again. I know, I know, but I did. And when I died, the collar was taken from my body. So Ithiria gave me a replacement... my original collar and cuffs. It was quite emotional. For a while. They are now in my roid, hidden away with all my precious treasures. I just cant' do it. When she's not here, my will leaves me. I rebel. I become someone else. The only problem is I've been more of the someone else now than I have been her wife and slave. Maybe it is time to change? Or maybe I'll just fail again and take my place. I swear it's like I have something in my brain that orders me. Maybe I'll see if my body is still in the police lockup and look see.

The girls at the Geisha House are still missing you, so you have to come back and see us. You must get some leave, my dear sister! It's not like you are indispensible, as I remember you saying you didn't want to be promoted incase you'd be recognised. Well, other people have been asking about you. One of our old friends wants to sign you on for a tour with their alliance in a wormhole. Maybe once you've finished doing whatever it is you are doing, proving to yourself or getting out of your system you'll take him up on the offer. Judging by what I have seen and he has said it will be more profitable for you. For us both maybe.

Anyway, as you requested before this has been forwarded to the usual address. Maybe oneday you'll come and open it and check what is there and find every mail I've ever sent you. Or maybe you get them and just dont want to reply. Regardless, you are my sister and I love you and I always will. I just want to see you safe again.


p.s. Since my last body died it seems my addiction for Vitoc has gone. But so has my addiction to blue pill. I guess things can and do change

C x

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Watchtower of my Dreams

The Inspector of the local police looked down on the body and shook his head. In all his years on the job he thought he had seen it all, but this was new to him. A length of the maintenance tape that was across the opening flapped in the updraft coming out of the elevator shaft and the smoke from his cigarette wafted upwards and outwards.
"Okay we got the car coming up, stand away please."

He stepped back as the elevator was powered up and the car rose slowly until it was level with the floor. Checking that the area around him had been cleared he dropped the cigarette and pulled some gloves from his pocket before walking onto the elevator.
"Who found her?"
"Security was watching the fight in the Broken Piano. The security drones dragged her out screaming and then she ran. We followed her mostly on the tapes, copies probably already forwarded to you."
"Details, I want details."
"Well.... she ran straight into the elevator, through the maintence strips and plunged to her death. So it seems. She wasn't running very fast."
He looked at the body and sighed. The short white hair was matted with blood and the pink and white kimono she wore wasn't much better. Carefully he rolled her over and looked into the face of Carmilla D'morenta.
"It's a pity. She was cute."

Casting a trained eye down the front of the body he noticed something, a thin cut in the outer fabric of the kimono. Carefully he opened the blood stained belt and drew aside the inner layers. The cut went through all of them, and as he felt, through the body. Thin blade, stabbed with some force into the body. He gestured his companion over.
"What do you make of this?"
"Well I'll be damned. Someone stabbed her and she ran. Panic, fear?"
"I'll check the tapes, might be some clue there. We'll have to find her Master or Mistress as well."
He tapped the collar with his finger, then looked around.
"Where is her bag?"
"There was no bag, this is as we found her. No one else has been here."

Stepping away from the body he went over to the desk that had been setup for him by the junior officers. Pulling the surveilance data he watched her leave the Piano. Slung over her shoulder was a bag. He followed her to the elevator. When she went in, she had a bag. As he watched the screen flickered and he cursed, slapping the side of the terminal. Then he stopped and wound the tape back. It wasn't console interferance, the recording had been filleted.
"Hey, this has been editted. Who had this before you sent it to me?"
"No one. It was pulled straight out of the archives when we asked for it, all backed up to computer core."
Rolling it back and forth he watched it. Two, maybe three minutes he reckoned had been cut. Time enough for someone to get down and up. Assuming they climbed like a daredevil in and out.
"Pull me an ID on the body. I want to know the minute we find out who she is and where she recloned."

Carmilla D'morenta sat watching the sunset. It hadn't taken long to travel down to the Geisha House from the cloning facility in Nonni. What had taken a while was finding out what had happened in the last three weeks. Silently she listened to Whisper as she retold her some of what had happened, and pulled datalogs from her diary and various databases.
"Why didn't I scan myself, Whisper? I used to do it every week, regular as clockwork. Sometimes more, when I had things I needed to remember. But three weeks?"
Folding her jacket she put it over the back of her chair and sat down at her terminal and gazed at the screen.
"Three weeks... it's almost as if they never happened. I dont think I've lost that much time before."
"Well I've informed Victor, he says he is sending you the up to date details of the last three weeks transactions, and he has pulled the changes you made to your security codes and they are coming by courier."
"He can do that?"
"He's the CEO, he has all the toys, remember?"
"Yes, I do. Where did I die?"
"Thukker Space. Apparently you were at the Piano again. I've pulled the security feeds from The Piano, and before that at the Skyhook. It seems you were getting on well with a young lady, and you took her to the piano."
"And that's where the fight started? I started a fight?"
"In between the alcohol and probably the lack of vitoc you must have been hurting. The security feeds show you staggering... and then you tried to attack another patron. You were thrown out by security drones, I'm not sure what happened to her."
"I started a fight with Eliza? Huh, that figures... though I thought she wanted me dead."
"She might have been the one to push you down the elevator shaft."
"No, I probably ran to get away from her. Hell, you know what she's like. She can take on twenty men barehanded and walk out alive."
"So could you....."
"Yeah, but not intoxicated and poisoned...."
"But not suicide."
"No, probably just hallucinating and scared. Hell, death by accident. Aaaah, wake me in a few hours please Whisper?"
"Of course I will. Sleep, it'll do you good."

Carmilla settled back into the soft comfort of the bed and kicked her shoes off. Corporate certainly appealed to her more than some of the things she had worn. The smart suits looked good on her, and from what she had seen, she was doing well working for Victor. Still the stigma of working for the people who had brutalised her so much when she was younger. But times change she mused as she drifted off to sleep.

In her mind, she dreamed. The grey fugue of sleep rolled around like clouds and in the middle stood the watchtower. Lights streamed out from within and pushed back the darkness and the grey. Step by step she walked to the tower, through the whisps and wraiths that danced and writhed in the air before her. A great stone watchtower that stood firm. Climbing the stairs inside she stood on the top, holding onto the railings looking out, watching the darkness being pushed back by the light. Strange shadows rolled around the billowing clouds of fog and mist. Noises, cries and screams came from the shadows, a cacophony of sounds, and she strained to hear what they were saying as the winds howled and bashed themselves into the tower.

Firm, proud and undetered she stood there, in her dreams while the darkness was held back. And she watched as a snake appeared, multicoloured and long, winding itself up the tower and standing next to her. She watched as the snake looked at her, and in her minds eye she saw that the snake was not just a snake, it was also herself. And becuase it was here, in the watchtower of her dreams, she knew it was not here to make trouble for her.

In her sleep she snored softly, a smile occasionally on her face. By the side of her bed a figure stood in the darkness, quicksilver eyes watching her sleep. Eventually the figure dropped a bag on the side of the bed and walked into the darkness of the room and vanished. Moments later Whisper and several geisha ran in and flicked on the lights, all of them looking around, weapons in hand. Carmilla awoke.
"Whisper? What's going on?"
"Who was here?"
"Other than you? No one... I've been asleep."
Whisper walked over and picked up the bag. It was familiar enough and she recognised it, as did Carmilla.
"My bag. How...."
"I dont know. But a silent alarm went off in here, which is why we came running. Someone brought it here. Looks like your guardian angel is taking a bit more interest."
Carmilla laid back down and closed her eyes.
"If she was, she'd have stopped me falling down an elevator shaft. Good night Whisper.. and thank you."

From the windowledge the Little Snake watched silently, and smiled before departing into the islands darkness.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Fighting the System


Always it comes back to Rens.

I hate the place. The sickly orange glow from the sun and the strange reds of the nebula, looks more like a burlesque house on a grande scale.

Every time I come here I feel the need to clean myself. I may be Minmatar, well, half Minmatar, but I'm also half Amarr. Talk about a conflict. Maybe it's just that part of me that sees the shining golden spires of Amarr in the morning sunlight gleaming that cant' bare to see what the locals call architecture here. Rust, ruin, and degredation. Perhaps this is freedom.

If so, why can't they tidy up?


I hate Rens.

Rens System - Anonymous Wormhole Entrance

The scouts popped out of the whirling maelstrom of the wormhole and scanned the area. One of them aligned and departed while the second took up a position and cloaked. A few minutes later a ship approached, scanned the wormhole and entered. Over the comms the scout heard the confirmation the target had been neutralised. The secound scout returned, took up a position an d waited. Then the all clear was given.

The prow of the providence came through the maelstrom, the golden hull turning a sickly umber in the light of the sun. Behind it came several brutix class battlecruisers, all bearing the markings of the Serpentis. With neolithic slowness the freighter aligned and the trio departed towards their rendevous. Moments later several republic fleet tempests and hurricane decelerated outside the wormhole, under the careful eye of the scout.

Inside a deadspace pocket four cruisers surrounded the remains of a battleship, a capsuleer pod caught in the midst of stasis fields and warp scramblers. The cries of the capsuleer within were being dampened by a powerful jamming signal from one of the nearby frigates which was looting the wreck and performing a salvage operation. With a flash the freighter decelerated fifty klicks away, followed by the brutix. From the bridge Carmilla watched with anger at the wreck. Not that it had been done, but that their base of operations had been located so easily. She sat down and keyed the comms, wincing at the jamming then sending a direct laser comm.
"Nothing much. We caught a raven, it was scanning various pockets and found us by accident. No one else has approached and we are preparing to evacuate."
"Transfer the merchandise from our holds and take it to the stations via the hoarders."
"And the capsuleer?"
She looked at the pod.
"Destroy it. And the body. And the wreck when it's finished. Leave no trace we were ever here."

The freighter docked at the Brutor Tribe Treasury. As ever with Rens a firefight was taking place outside. The local channels were awash with the vibrancy of the capsuleers who considered Rens their home. Dozens of ships bearing the markings from countless corporations and alliances came and went with a monotonous regularity. Traders, mercenaries, pirates with the right connections, all docked at the decaying stations that were the pride of the Minmatar in this region. Constant repairs were being done on them. It wouldn't take a supercarrier to destroy a minmatar station, she mused. A can of glue solvent should do.

As the automatic systems brought the freighter to a halt, cables and pipes snaked out of the nearby walls and connected, robot drones began unloading and Carmilla and the crew made their way to the boarding ramps. Republic Fleet Security were waiting for them. As she tried to pass one held up his hand and looked at her, then over at the others. Wrapped up in a long leather duster, with a wide brimmed hat she looked like an old preacher from the dark days of the occupation, a look not ignored by several of the guards. The officer sneered at her and looked up at the ship.
"You are the pilot of this freighter?"
"I am. Your reason for stopping me? I have legitimate business at this station for my corporation."
"Yes. I'm sure you do. You will naturally consent to having your ship searched for contraband?"
"Naturally I will not."
He blinked and scowled and gestured to one of his men who spoke into his communit.
"I think you will find that all legitimate corporations submit to a search."
"I dare say. Just not on this ship."
"Then your docking permit is revoked. Reboard your ship and....."
The guard moved up behind the officer and whispered in his ear. He turned his head fast.
"They said immediately....."
He turned to her and looked at her with apprehension.
"I will.... let the inspection pass this once. But we will be watching you, Serpentis and other pirate organisations are not welcome here. Bare that in mind woman."
"You look a little tense. Perhaps there is something we can do to relax you? Perhaps you would like to spend some time with some of my crew? I'm sure I have some to your tastes, or failing that I could always arrange something a bit more chemical....."
She smiled from under the brim of her hat and watched the fury across his face.
"But then again, I dare say you can't afford my girls on your salary. If you ever need some extra money call me. I may be in the market soon for some men who know how to fuck."

As she pushed past him with her crew in tow she could hear the button on his holster snap open and the weapon being withdrawn... and then the sound of his arm being held by his subordinates.
"Tell me the hoarders docked and were unloaded safely?"
"All of them. The cargo is now being disseminated to the various dealers and agents."
"Good. Give the rest of the crew a days shore leave. I'll be here for some time I have business to take care of."
"Then we come with you. And Carm, when are you going to take that silly collar off? It doesn't become you."
"You are a good navigator, Tomas. But you are not my keeper, no matter what my brother says. The collar stays on until she tells me otherwise."
"Aaach, I never could understand you and that woman."
Carm stopped and turned on her navigator grabbing his collar and pushing him against a wall, a knife from her hip up and at his throat. She glared into his eyes.
"And I never understood why you find it necessary to insult my wife."
She felt the blade tip at her navel.
"You cut me, I cut you. I am guide you remember through the dark places we must go. And with what we've been through I've earned the right to call you a silly bitch for what you do."
"Yes you have, but maybe I'll give you a cut to remind you anyway...."
One of the other crew slipped infront of them, blocking them from the corridor.
"More guards... knifes away!"
Both blades vanished and Carm smiled and leaned in, kissing his cheek.
"I know you do, old friend. But I cant' stop being who I am. The collar stays, and your percentage for the journey goes up."
As a group they started walking again and headed down several levels to the great doors that lead into the parts of the station that were reserved for the local inhabitants. Already as they went down they had passed the darkened levels, lit only by flickering lights and hidden fires. Here were the unwanted people, those rescued from slavery by the capsuleers and dropped here to be looked after by the Minmatar government. Hands were held out, the cries and whispers for financial support, or food, or relief from the hardships.

Once it had turned her, made her fight back against those who had done this. And in the process she had lost part of her soul, lost a part of her sister and her heritage. The crimes that were committed in the cause of freedom were more than the crimes committed by simply being a Holder and keeping slaves. She had seen the Holders and their guards gutted like fish and their slaves taken away to be free. Free to rot in the stations, pray for the gutter gangs of minmatar youth, free to be taken from all they knew and thrown into this anarchy of freedom. Everyone talked of freedom, talked of being rescued by the Freedom Fighters, but few knew what would happen after. Perhaps if they knew, they wouldn't be so eager to leave.

But, there was that part of her that felt for them. As she stopped, she heard the groans of her crew. They too knew well what was coming and what would be asked of her.
"Come on guys, dig deep. You can have half of my cut."
The crew pulled out money and food that they had on them and handed it out. People appeared from darkned doorways and hallways, praising them for their generosity. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the lean figures of a guttergang, their colours marking them and the markings on the wall indicating this was their territory. Most likely they would come by when they had gone and tax these poor people. Dog eat dog. At least as slaves they were kept and cared for, she mused, and maybe my perspective is a little warped, but I never had to starve in a metal coffin that was falling apart.
"Come on. We have work to do, we're not a charity."
With a scowl at the gutter gangers she swept past them and deeper into the station.

Once at the meeting location she removed her long coat revealing the pure white business suit underneath. A pendant of finest jade dug from Serpentis Prime hung at her neck, and around it a collar of chrome. In her hand she toyed with a silenced pistol while her brothers people sorted out the crates that had been delivered from the hoarders. Around them three dozen dealers and agents. Sections of the cargo were delivered, payments recieved. Guards, both hers and theirs patrolled the corridors and the hangers they were in. The local inhabitants paid well to keep their eyes and ears shut.

A violent shudder ran through her, as once again she could feel the effects of the vitoc on her. It seemed that the dose she took lasted a shorter and shorter time. Taking out her box she flicked a vial and slipped it into the hypo and pressed it against her neck and injected herself. Closing her eyes she felt the relief as it pulsed through her, with heavy eyes she looked up and found herself moaning, her hand touching her collar and the other hand grasping the pistol.

Damn, she thought, that these people should see me like this. Perhaps I should kill them all, kill every last one of them. Start shooting and not stop til only I am left alive kill them all kill them all kill them all


The slap brought her around and she looked into Tomas's face. Everything was silent, and she noticed a lot of guns pointing at her.
"Carmilla. Let go of the gun. Please."
She felt his insistant hand at hers and felt the weapon slip into his hand. People were whispering, some with fearful looks on her face.
"What did I just do, " she whispered.
"You shot the Angel Cartels local distributor for the lower reaches. The only reason you are not dead is out crew outnumbers theres and we have more guns."
She stood up and walked over to Angel, two holes in his suit, the smell of blood and fear in the air. Kneeling before him, aware of the guns pointed at her she reached down and slapped his face gently.
"That is a reminder that we know when you are cheating us. If I had meant business I would have put bullets in your head."
The man looked at her, anger in his eyes and waved his hands at his men.
"Your reputation preceeds you. Your predecessor would have killed me outright."
"That is bad for business. Here you will live, so you can learn from your mistakes. And so will the others."
"Be warned though, Carmilla of the Collar. I will report this to my people. They will not be happy."
Carmilla stood up and straightened her skirt and smoothed it out.
"People rarely are when I take an interest in things."

The rest of the business processed quick and the payments were divided and despatched.
"Pay the men, Tomas and remember we leave first thing in the morning."
"And where are you going?"
"To find a hotel and sleep. And to shower. Goddam I hate this place. When you get time contact my brother and tell him to move me out of this shit hole."
They turned as they heard the sound of people running and watched as a squad of Republic Fleet Security poured in through the doors, weapons out and pointing.
"I hate this place. I really do."
"Lower your weapons! You are all under arrest for crimes against the state!"
"Screw you! You'll never take us alive!"
She raised her pistol and screamed as she ran for cover and pulled the trigger, behind her other crew members were also firing. Before long the air was filled with the screams of weaponry and wounded people.

Rens. Home of freedom and liberty. Home of the free and those who believe they are.
I hate this place. I hate what it stands for. I hate the hypocrisy.

I hate that it reminds me that there is only one place I belong. Perhaps I should do something about it.

Assuming I survive the night.