Saturday, 24 March 2012


The resteraunt in a small leafy park on the main walk of the station was old and quaint. Traditional food and good wine meant most people enjoyed their meals, sitting at the old oak tables and revelling in the sights and sounds. At one table, two people sat at a secluded table. They were speaking, or to be more precise, he was speaking... she was listening.

Carmilla slowly clenched her fist when he stopped talking.

There was no change in the expression on her face but the sound of her nails scratching into the wooden table, scoring the decades old wood caused the man before her to back away slightly. He knew what she was like, what the family was like.

She blinked and wiped her mouth with the napkin. It was over. There could be no going back now, not after what was just said. It didn't just change things, it changed everything.

Who she was....

What she was....

Why... she was....

Did she think she didn't love her anymore? Was that it? That she had forgotten, that she... But then that was it wasn't it. She looked at the Teraa Matar badge on her flight jacket, cast lazily over the spare chair. So much had changed since the exile. But always she thought there would be a way back. After all, they were more than just slave and Mistress, they were lovers. They were married.

"I'll go to her. I'll explain everything."
"If you do then everything you have done will be for nothing. You will be arrested and detained. Your status as a runaway slave is now a matter of public knowldge. And you know the Khanid laws. You stood up once and extolled their virtues. You took them to the extreme and danced for her in court."
"I was...."
He cut her off with a stroke of his hand slamming onto the table.
"There are no excuses. By the hand of the Empress, Carmilla. You are a fugitive! It doesn't matter that you are fighting for what you believe, you left her. You ran away. And because of that it's not just my people that are after you, its the Caldari as well. Notices went up to the border patrols along with the usual lists of troublemakers. Maybe if you hadn't joined your corp something could have been done about it."
"I can't help the call of my people."
"I've heard the calls of your people, in the mines and the plantations and in their beds. It's a call you made willingly as a slave. Now you are faced with the penalty of what you have done."

She sat silently, digesting what had been said. Sadness filled her features and she took the knife from the table and tested the edge. He looked at her impassively. Grabbing her hair she cut the knife through the long ponytail she had and threw it on the table, ruffling her hair.
"She'll probably send someone after me. Not to bring me back as I thought she might, but to bring me back in chains for the block. I know her. I know what she's capable of. I know the levels to which she'll go. But I'll fight her. And whoever she sends."

Carmilla pulled the ring from her finger, the ring that had stayed there for so long. Her wedding band. She placed it on the table and slammed the knife into it, pinning it to the table. Standing up she pulled on her jacket and beckoned to the owner who tried to protest at the knife.
"Someone will come and ask about me. You leave that ring there until they come. No one touches it, no one moves it. This should cover the loss of trade on that table."
She handed him a creditjack and pulled out a communicator.
"I wish I didn't have to do this, but I was planning it anyway, since the Governor had his way. I must protect my girls...."
"I know. Do you need..."
She held up a hand and broke into a smile as the connection was made.
"Whisper, this is Carm. We're moving. Get the girls out now, you have the location of my asteroid safehouse. Leave the rest to the men to do, they have the new location where our house will be. And Whisper.... be careful. Trust only the Teraa Matar."
Slipping the comm back into her bag she looked at her friend and smiled.
"You don't trust me?"
"Officially I'm not allowed to. You are the enemy after all."
"Unofficially.... a few days ago I'd have said no. But now, I need all the friends I can get. Now you'll excuse me, I have to move my home and my girls."
She leaned over and kissed his cheek and then departed.

Several hours later a tall minmater woman walked into the resteraunt and looked at the knife. A picture was taken, the knife removed and the ring slipped into a pocket.
"We missed her. But she left you a message. I'll hand it to you when I see you."

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