Monday, 26 March 2012

Tasukete Kure

The rifter class frigate tore across the black depths of space. It stopped monetarily to access a jump gate, its entirety of being projected light years away to a new system. The hunters were waiting, three sleek golden ships, their double hulls shimmering in the suns rays. With skill the rifter shook the hunters and fled into space, but they had scented the prey. The hunt was on.

She stood on a plain of ashes looking at a building in the distance. It was a ugly building, with all the looks of an insane asylum. Black clouds seamed with silver boiled past, far to fast and yet no wind stirred the ashed she walked across. In the distance she saw the figure standing by the door, beckoning her, and she could hear far off the sounds of barking and tinkling laughter. Slowly she ran to the building, the feeling like running through treacle, of pushing through invisible barriers of paper until she came to the door.

Up close she recognised the building for what it was and shuddered. She had heard of these places. Her skin crawled as she opened the door and walked in. Hearing the laughter up ahead she tried to be brave, but the walls and floors looked to be covered with filth and debris and rubbish. The walls scrawled with curses and names and numbers. Water dripped down from where sections of the roof were missing and she saw ahead, through a hole in the floor the white figure that beckoned her, a small girl. Again, the tinkling laugh, but always the background sound of the barking.

She walked through a broken door into a room, the rows of beds brought horror to her mind. The travesty that this place was was not lost on her, and to find a girl here was a heart rending. The fourth bed, the girl was sitting on. From what she could see, only wearing a long thin shift. Kneeling down before her, she looked into the girls face. Two golden eyes looked out at her, from a face that was like hers. Sebiestor, but with signs of Amarri parentage. She was about to say something when the girls spoke first, in a voice that was ageless.
"You shouldn't be here. They are coming. They are coming and you need to be there."
The girl pointed and on instinct Carmilla turned her head. Gone were the walls of the facility, only the ash plains remained, the girls standing beside her.
"Where... what's happening?"
"You are needed. They are in trouble. The hounds are coming and if you do not help her they will both die."
"Who? What hounds? I dont understand."
She pointed again, on the horizon shapes were coming, three golden shapes, slavering hounds. Coming straight for them. Carmilla picked up the girl and turned and ran. She ran til her feet bled and the breath in her lungs burned and still they came.
"You cannot escape them as they are after her. They are after me. Save me."
The voice changed to that of a small girl and she stopped and looked at the girl, really looked at her, recongnition flashed in her eyes and she dropped to her knees. The girls small hand came up and ruffled her hair then screamed as the hounds surrounded them.
"Save us!"

Carmilla opened her eyes and reached out her hand screaming.
Sitting up she looked around, the room was empty. Maeve. How could it be. She hadn' t been born yet. But, she would be the daughter of a shaman, the power would be there, the essence. And that essence was in trouble. Not just Maeve, but also Kikia! She ran, not because her life depended on it, but because both their lives might depend upon her!

Still half naked she arrived in the hanger bay, causing more than a few people to comment. Tapping in her command codes on the hanger door she ran in an over to the hanger supervisor.
"What ships of mine are ready to go now?"
"Now? None of them. We are still checking them all over on the maintenance schedule."
"All? I must have a ship!"
"Well, there is that one. It was transfered here yesterday for, from...." He checked the list on his wall,"Constance Leannder."
"Ma? My mother sent me a ship?"
"Yeah. It's quite a beauty."
He looked around and pointed at the far end of the hanger. Carmilla looked and gasped, then smiled.
"Is she ready to fly?"
"You think we'd let you fly a ship untested? Carm, I'm shocked. Crystals were polished this morning, spares available. I'm not sure on the name though."
"It's her prophecy. The Tasukete Kure. She said one day I'd understand."
"Yeah, but what does it mean?"
"It means, Save Me, in Khanid. Quickly, where did Kikia Truzhari go today? It's important."
"She went to the warzone. Usually along the Myridian Strip."
"Then that's were I'm going.... prophecy, heh. I just hope I'm in time."

The rifter pulled into a tight turn, spatters of laser fire careening off of it's shields. Its return volley peppered one of the executioners twin hulls with high velocity autocannon rounds, but still it chased her. Alarms were sounding, the sensors were detecting another disruption of the warp field as the second ship returned, it's armour repaired. Emerald beam lasers slammed into the hull, detonating one of the engine pods, sending her spinning out of control. Deep in the ship, the pod pilot began to scream as she felt the pain of her ship. Around her the hunters had her pinned, and on her scans she could see other hunters were coming. Larger ships, eager for a kill. She regained control and headed for the safety of the jump gate, as fast as her damaged ship could go.

Despair set in as the other ships landed infront of her. Two omens and an arbitator. But she had been in worse than this. Her shields failed as she reached the gate, and another explosion tore through the hull as the gate activated and she was flung to the next system. The hunters followed, but again, she was quick enough to evade. For the moment.

They caught her on the far side of the next gate. Her ship was too badly damaged, leaking fuel. It was just a matter of time. She pulsed the shield generator, trying to get as much out of the battered system while trying to vector back to the jump gate. Already the warp drive was failing, the field disrupted, her afterburner was out of fuel. Her velocity slowed as webifiers caught her in their spiders web and she was brought to a stop, surrounded by her enemies. The comms crackled as a gruff voice with an Amarrian accent hailed her.
"Surrender, rebel. Your ship will be destroyed and your pod will be towed to the nearest station for transport to the Empire. You cannot escape so eject before you are removed from that flying junk heap."
She sent coded signals for help, but knew that it was too late. Her instruments detected the jamming field. Out here, in the darkness, alone. Tears of rage filled her, No! I will not go back to that. Never!
"I will never surrender! I will die rather than submit to you animals! Is this how many it takes of you nobles to bring done one Matari? Cowards! The lot of you!"
Her ships weapons fired, but no damage was done to her enemies, she realised, they were repairing each other.
By the spirits of my ancestors, help me. Save me! I implore you!

The ship came out of the sun marked by the detonation of the executioners as a hail of pulse laser fire tore into them. The local comchannels were awash with a scream, a scream of anger, a scream of hate, a scream of utter desperation.
"Teraaaa Matarrriiiiii!!!!!!"

Kikia Truzhari checked her screens and saw the prophecy charge into the frey, pulse laser fire slammed into the smaller ships before it rammed their damaged hulls, knocking the broken ships away. It swung around, now taking fire from the omens who began to gain range, the drones from the abitrator screamed away. As she checked her systems she noticed the warp drives powering back up.
"Kikia! Get the hell out of here!"
She didn't recongise the ship, or the name stencilled across the side of it. No symbol of corporation was there either. But she recongised the voice.
"I'll hold them as long as I can. Get out, save yourself!"
The prophecy unleashed a flight of drones and started to lead them away from her.
"I can't leave you like this! I won't!"
"Save yourself! Save your child! Thats more important."
Over the channel she could hear the alarms from the prophecy. In the distance she saw the other ships arrive. New ships, drawn to a new foe. They were heavily outnumbered.
"I wont leave you! I wont leave a corp mate behind. I wont leave a friend to be taken by them!"
"Kikia... do it for Maeve! Save her...."
The channel closed as explosions ripped through the side of the battlecruiser and she turned to the gate, limping as fast as she dared. She looked back at the prophecy and saw it turning towards her, trying to make it to the gate. With a heavy heart, she activated the gate sequence.

She opened her eyes and found herself looking into the broadside barrels of a tempest. Several other ships were there, a gate camp. But a loyalist one! Two ships targetted her and she could almost feel her ship repairing, rejuvenating. A voice came over her comm systems, a soft voice, brutor by the inflections.
"Do not worry, little sister. We are here and we will protect you. The way home is clear, fly with honour."
"How can I fly with honour when my friend is on the other side. Dying to protect me and my child?"
"You carry the next generation of warrior for your tribe?"
"Not in this clone, no, but she did not know that. Such is the loyalty I command.... I am a Shaman of the Star Fire clan, my daughter will follow in my footsteps! Now in the name of our people, follow me! Follow me to victory against our ancient foes!"
The air was filled with the battlecries of the small fleet as her message was transfered from ship to ship. One, then two, then all of them accelerated to the gate.

On the far side the surviving Amarr ships surounded the devastated battlecruiser when the frigate reappeared. They laughed and turned to face the rebel who had tried to come back. Their laughter was cut as the fleet appeared, battleships and cruisers unleashed hell and the battle was joined. The Amarr had no chance, and no quarter was given.

A few hours later, protected by the fleet the rifter and the prophecy docked at the Abudban station. Carmilla waited outside the docking bay until Kikia walked up to her, a stern look on her face.
"We need to talk Carmilla. Come with me, that... is an order."
Carmilla nodded and followed her into the debriefing room. Save me, she wondered. How did Constance know, what else hasn't she told me.
"Carm, I want to know what the hell happened out there."
"You were in trouble. I didn't want you to loose your..."
Kikia grabbed Carm by the scruff of the neck and brought their faces together.
"I don't fly like that. I protect my own, she never flies into combat with me. Always in my combat clone. And how the hell did you know I was in trouble?"
"Maeve told me..."
"She... that's impossible."
Kikia let go of Carm and looked at her.
"Tell me everything, dont' leave anything out. This is important!"
Carmilla rubbed her neck and sat down and related the dream to her. When she finished she looked up at her, a strange expression on her face.
"Regardless, I wouldn't do anything different."
"But I almost lost you Carm...."
"You didn't though."
"It's an ominous sign though. Something is coming. Something... insidious. I'll need to talk to the other Shamans about this. You did good Carm. But I swear if you do anything like that again...."
Carmilla just smiled.
"But you know I will."
They both just smiled.


  1. Easily one of your better pieces, great work!

  2. Thank you, it's appreciated, though it has to be altered slightly by request.