Thursday, 31 May 2012


She watched as the Little Snake, with her Mistress over her shoulder, leapt from the top of the building.

Do you trust me?

How can I not trust someone who is essentially... me? Carmilla started to run towards the edge, hearing behind her the sound of the roof door being kicked open. As she sped up she felt the air thicken and saw the sky change. Dark rolling clouds and she was running over the ashen wastes again. Stopping she looked around.

Maeve. She was there, in the distance, coming towards her. Again, in the far distance she could hear the sound of the slaver hounds. Quickly she ran over to her and embraced her.
"Maeve. What's wrong? Who is hunting you now?"
"The dark side of your heart is after me. As she is after you. And those you love. Beware the golden reaper, and save the sleep of the just."
"Maeve..." she ran her fingers through her hair, "You are making no sense."
"Yes I am, and deep down you know it. She is there, with you, beyond her eye and she means to kill you."
"She... you mean... Ithiria?"
"Yes. The dark side of your heart. I must leave you now. Come, rescue us again, before it is too late...."
"I will..."
"And Carmilla.... dont just drop... leap like you mean it..."

The sky flashed back and she was once more running to the edge, where she reached the edge and leapt with all her might. With the wind rushing in her face she dropped, her arms spread and could feel the arms of oblivion opening for her as the ground grew closer, quickly.

Little Snake landed on the grav platform that was just below the roof and rolled Alizabeth onto her back on the floor. She was just about to tell the driver to punch it when she saw Carmilla fly past, missing it totally. Moving to the side and looking over watching herself drop saved her life, as the snipers bullet slammed into the driver. Standing she looked up at the rooftop where the shot came from and screamed loudly, grabbing the controlls and sending the platform into a flat dive, it's repulsors whining.

Ithiria Deritan raised the sniper rifle and looked with anger at the grav platform, and the fast falling sebiestor. How had she missed?  By all the saints, how had she missed? She clicked her fingers and her paladins stood to attention, weapons unslung.
"Kill them all. I want that bitch dead, I want her harlot dead, I want all of them fucking dead!"
Weapons were lowered and a hail of fire traced the grav platform and the falling sebiestor. Other grav platforms, taxi's and anything that got in the way of the Little Snake or Carmilla were brutally gunned down.

Carmilla heard the sounds of the gunfire and the whipping past her of the bullets and ignored it. The sound of the whining engine was more apparent and looking over her shoulder as she fell she saw the platform, Snake behind the controls and catching up with her. As it passed close she grabbed a rail and hauled her self closer, Snake noticing and pulling up. Just, not quick enough. The impact threw her over the controls and into a shopfront, through the window and into the display, followed shortly after by the burning wreck of the platform. 

Carmilla struggled to her feet, blood pouring from a scalp wound and dragged herself over to Aliza. Luckily she had been thrown clear, though was still in her coma. Snake staggered over, pulling a large splinter of metal from her side and stemming the blood with a shirt ripped from a shelf
"I swear Carm.. it's never dull when you are around."
"That was Ithiria... wasn't it?"
"It looked like it yes. I thought she was over you?"
Carm just shook her head and picked up Aliza, wiping blood on her torn sleeve.
"Who can say. Lets get back to the ship before she realises we survived the crash. How did we survive the crash?"
"Security systems, caught us in a tractor beam, but we were going too fast."

From her rooftop Ithiria watched the three stagger away under the magnification on her scanner. She spat over the edge and turned to her entourage.
"Call my abaddon, tell them to prepare for my arrival. I want battle ready by the time I board."
"The station..."
"Is not my concern. Just do it."
Turning back around she looked down at the wreck with a smirk.
"It just prolongs the inevitable, whore. You can run... as they say."
She watched as one of the taxi's pulled away from the building and started to head towards the starport starport. It seemed that a race was on. Good! A chase always made the kill more enjoyable! She spun around, the tails of her coat flapping as she walked towards the stairs, the heels of her boots clicking, almost masked by the sound of her paladins marching behind her.

Carm looked over at Snake and pulled the shirt away. Blood flowed from the gaping wound in her side, pain was etched across her face and she was looking pale. Blood loss, fatigue, and shock was probably coming. "Don't you worry about me Carm. Look after your woman. We both know we've survived worse than this and still survived...."
"Yes, but that was a long time ago...."
"I'm still the same person I was then..."
"I know. That's the problem. We need to get you medical attention."
"Pah, my ship is in the station. We can use that to escape. Your ship will have been impounded by now for what you did."
"What I did? What you did!"
"Yes," Snake grinned then grimmaced,"But I am you. You know she'll follow us."
"She will. She is most tenacious when it comes to getting what she wants."
"Cant' be..."
"How so?"
"She lost you didn't she?"
 Carm grinned and reached into her bag and pulled out a small pouch and handed it over to Snake. She tipped out the contents, several ampouls of drugs were inside.
"I never thought of you as a user, Carm."
"Only a bit of blue pill... but it's strong enough to take the pain away. And I'll need you when we get to the docking bays."
She pushed up and slipped into the front seat and looked at the controls. Automatic taxi, she thought, programmed via voice command and uses internal navigational computer to ascertain most direct route. Linked into central computer, easily accessed, low security. She thumped the control panel and opened it, peering inside and pulling out several wires and a control junction. As she worked she whistled a melancholy tune and attached her datatablet to the processor then started to hack into the system, taking control of the taxi and reprogramming the course to the docking bay. Pulling a smaller datatablet out of her pocket she threw it to Snake.
"Call Whisper. Tell her to move Kikia's clone from Abudban. Tell her... to use extreme predjudice with anyone who even touches it."
 The taxi jerked several times then changed lane and Carm sat back in the chair.
"Shouldn't be too long now. I just pray we get there before Ithiria does."

As Ithiria stepped out of the transport and looked up at the battleship before her she smiled. The Abaddon class battleship was pure power. Not the largest in her fleet, not by a long shot, but enough to take on most of what she knew Carmilla could fly. Boarding she felt the ship come alive as it's systems connected to her neural net and reports flickered in.
"Have you located their ships yet?"
"We have Carmilla's ship impounded, we do not know what other ships she has in the area."
"Scan all the traffic control frequencies and pull up lists of ships that are pressing for immediate departure. We are not that far into the docking bays, but a fast ship can still make it out. Make sure it doesn't happen."

She had just settled into her quarters, her slaves helping her into more comfortable clothing when a message arrived. Picking up her glass of wine she strode over to her viewscreen and looked at the woman beyond, one of the communications officers.
"I trust you have a good reason for waking me?"
"Yes ma'am. We have detected a lot of chatter on the traffic control net. It seems a ship is departing without authorisation."
"What vessel?"
"A prowler class transport named the Gistii Hauler...."
"Get us underway immediately! That ship was only two bays away! By the saints!"

"You stole this from me, Snake!"
"What's yours is mine Carm. And you were not using it."
"I know, because I thought I'd lost it!"
"You have too many toys, I never thought you'd miss one...."
The prowler pulled away from the docks, tearing the docking clamps out with a heavy jarring and moving into the lanes of the station. Alarms were sounding both inside and out and the pod pilot deep within was taking care of the problems. From the bridge Carm and Snake both looked out. The traffic advisory was already flashed around the quadrant they were in, informing ships to watch out for unauthorised vessel.
"Tactical, any noticable movement coming our way?"
"Inform us as soon as anything does."
Well that goes without saying

Carmilla walked with Snake back down to the small infirmary. Aliza was lying on one of the beds and a small medtech was looking over her. She roughly sat Snake down on one of the examination benches and cut through her top with a surgical blade. Snake didnt' say anything as Carm went to work on her, cleaning her wound and sewing it back up as best she could. With a final jab of a hypo she pulled a medical top from a cupboard and handed it to her.
"You'll live."
We have company. Abaddon has just left dock, traffic control is having a fit.
"Can you identify it?"
Khanid Wrath
"Oh shit..... Ithiria."

By the time they both reached the bridge the prowler had made it into the main traffic lane. The scanner showed that two bays beyond them the Abaddon was moving out.
We're being targetted
"Carm, get on navigation! Get us the hell out of here!"
Carm slipped over to the navigation console and scanned the board while Snake sat at a board and started powering up various systems. With a perceptible lurch the prowler surged forward. Screens on the bridge lit up and showed the views from all of the external camera's. Several locked onto and zoomed into the Abaddon.
"Aaaah crud. we're in trouble... it's locked on."
"Hang on! Pulse fire incomming! They must be mad!"
The port side batteries of the 'baddon unleashed a barrage. Alarms sounded on the prowler as shield flared and dropped. Snake powered up the sheild generator, the guristas symbol on the console flashing as it charged up. She worked feverishly, activating damage controls and counting in her head the time between shots. The shields were almost fully recharged when the next broadside hit, the scream of the armour as the shields were pierced.
"We're taking damage!"
"I know! I cant' get around this damn freighter!"
"Then go under it, or over it... we stay here we're sitting ducks!"
The prowler screamed again as a third broadside slammed into it. Other alarms were going off now. Carm looked around all the screens to see what possible way out there was. While the freighter was there, there was no chance. There was no way out.
Three four minutes and it'll have moved enough for us to reach that cargo artery, then we can find a route to the surface.
"Carm, I'm all out of ideas... I can't attack an abaddon with this ship!"
"Open a communications channel. Request a person to person."
"Do it... we need... a radical solution."

On the Abaddon's bridge the commications officer walked over to Ithiria's command throne and saluted.
"Ma'am, the captain of the target vessel has requested a communications channel with you, person to person."
She sat back in her throne and smirked.
"No, put it on the full screen. I want everyone to see this. Hold fire for a moment. I want to hear her beg before we vaporise her."
The officer nodded and walked back and shortly after the view screen showed Carmilla looking at her. She was dirty and blood smeared from the crash, her clothes torn, but the defiance was still there.
"Ithiria. You are looking well."
"Did you call up just to tell me the obvious? You should be on your knees begging me to kill you quick."
"You know I'll not kneel to you again. Not after what you did."
"What I did? You left me! You ran away... after all I did for you, all I gave you! You betrayed me, stabbed me in the back and left me to die."
Ithiria looked at her, for a moment not knowing what to say.
"And? Is that a way to look after your Mistress?"
"You cast me out! In public... You divorced me... sent hunters after me, gave my enemies all the information about what we did. All the crimes I committed for you."
"I should have gotten rid of you long ago. When you dared raise your hand to me."
"Aaah, Ithiria, my dear wife. What can I say. You taught me well."
"I am not your wife, not any more. Our marriage was dissolved."
Carmilla... smiled.
"Yes.. or should I say... No. It wasn't."
Ithiria slit her eyes and looked at the woman before her. 
"I think, Carmilla, I know when I am married. And at the moment, I am not. Not to you, not to Mizhara. No one."
"Aaah, true, but then you forgot one little thing about marriage in the Khanid Kingdoms. Or more particular, about the divorce of Holders."
"And what was that?"
"It can be challenged by the matriach of the houses involved."
Ithiria spread her arms wide and laughed.
"You nullify anything you say. I am the matriach of my house."
"Yes. And Kim is the Matriach of mine."
Her laugh faded away. Her mind was working quick now. Carmilla was playing a game here, she was sure of it. But she knew Carm of old. She did not like to loose, and always had a trick up her sleeves. Why then the mentioning of Matriachs? Of course, the Khanid were more matriachal than patriachal, but that didn't matter with Carm. She was Matari. Mostly.
"Carm. What have you done?"
"It's not what I did, my dear. You filed the paperwork yourself, filled out the marriage forms."
"No, no no. You can't challenge it. You are not a Holder. And anyway, I would have heard about it from...."
"From your personal slave. Which was?. Oh my, that was me."
"You were my slave!"
"Yes. Though.. technically.... not after you married me. You see... marriage to you by a Matari wouldn't have been enough. There had to be... a trace of true blood. And I am after all, half Matari, and my Amarr half was an established name, titled and everything. That is why there was no problem with the marriage going through. I fulfilled all the requirements to be a Holder. And you sealed it."
"You are not a holder! How dare you besmirch my peoples name!"
"Ha, rich coming from you? You who blackened an entire Matari clan by marrying Miz and going back to being a slaver! Although... you could say that was my fault."
Carmilla laughed. This was not the woman she remembered. A coldness she had never seen was creeping into her, the set of her features, almost as if the Amarr side of her was becoming more dominant.
"Face it Ithiria. It was by your hand that a slave became a Holder. That is how it will be seen. It won't matter that my amarri side has been wanted for war crimes by the Matari for generations. Once it comes out, I'll have the matari after me. True. But with what you revealed about me, I dare say they are already after me. All except the Amarr and Khanid. They don't care. They just see it as a feud between holders. Between House Deritan and House Jobias....."
Ithiria leapt to her feet, rage in her eyes and pointed at the screen just as it blinked off.
"Open fire, all weapons! I wasn that ship destroyed! I want her crew dead, I want Carmilla dead! I want her frozen corpse nailed to the hull!!"

Carmilla looked over at Snake and nodded.
"Was that enough time?"
"Carmilla, if what you said was true I may have to slap you."
"Oh please Snake. Can you honestely believe that I am a Holder? Heir to a house that hasn't been in prominance since the great rebellion?"
"Yes. Quite easily."
"Good. Lets hope it keeps her busy. Navigator, set your course for Siseide. Take the long way round."

The Prowler turned into one of the main arteries of the station at speed. By the time the Abaddon had come up along side the artery the transport was gone. As she looked at the stars outside of the bridge window she mulled over what she'd done. Yet again, people she knew were going to be in trouble. Luckily Whisper was on her way to pick up Kikia's clone tube and relocate it to safety. Kim was far to canny to be caught by Ithiria. Victor was out of the way back on Serpentis Prime. That only left.. herself.

Once more, she was exposed. Though for the moment.. she was a head of the game.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Three women sat at the table, each talking in the low patois that slaves speak when they know they could be overheard. Aside from the occasional giggle and furtive looks, there was little to suggest they were anything other than what they seemed.

The tallest of the women stood up and slung a bag over her shoulder and ran through the maze of back corridors and stairs of the tower. Through the occasional window she could see the lava planet below. At her quarters at the tower, a room with little enough space, she changed. In truth she had been in prison cells that were smaller, but then slaves did not need such luxuries, and she certainly did not either.

When she walked out of her room, her heels clicked on the metal flooring, stockings covered her legs and a smart skirt, jacket and blouse made her more presentable. Checking the collar at her throat and that her hair was in place, she made her way to her appointment. Standing before the door, she pulled out her datatablet and sent Aliza a message. Her silence was now becoming worrying, but the interview had to be done. It was time, and her course was set.

The door was opened by one of the numerous tower slaves and she walked in. Leopold Caine and Kira Macha sat behind a large table. Infront of it there was no chair, so she stood.
"Aaah, Carmilla," Leo smiled at her, "So glad you could make it. I understood there were some problems. I do hope you have cleared them up."
"Everything seems to be in order."
"Then let us... begin. According to your application..."

Meanwhile, unknown to Carmilla, incriminating files about her past and that past of her current friends had been sent to various interested parties. Most were dismissed out of hand, either due to those people protecting Carm and her associates, or simply because it was old news. However, for her new Mistress, Alizabeth, there was not so much protection. And in part, the simple matter of her associated with a known pirate, murderer and violent criminal was enough for questions to be asked, and for her to be summoned and questioned by her superiors. The result of this, a further blow continuing after others she had recieved, pushed her too far. Despite their favorable deliberations, she elected to take a tea ceremony. Alone, and in private. Luckily, her superiors were watching, and relocated the coma inflicted Alizabeth to a nearby medical facility.

Carmilla walked out of the meeting with a smile on her face. Her application to the Stillwater corporation had been accepted. Making her way to the towers bar she sat down and ordered a drink and pulled out her datatablet. She had felt it vibrate during the meeting, but had not answered. Several messages had been left, some from her associates, and several from Whisper. She clicked one and called her.
"Whisper, what's...."
"Carmilla, it's Aliza. She's in hospital."
"What? That's impossible she's..."
"No, she enacted a tea ceremony to clear her name and she's in a coma. The security services have her at a secure medical facility in New Caldari."
"Hold on. Clear her name? Why?"
There was a pause.
"You don't know?"
"No. I've been busy at the tower. What's up?"
"Ithiria.... she sold you out. Sent copies of all your dealings to various organisations."
"And Aliza..."
Carm went white. She's gone for the underbelly this time. Not content with Carm being free of her, and happy, she had to make her pay for leaving her. Such bitterness. But, understandable. And she'd been expecting it. But not this, not an attack on her friends.
"Send me the files. No better yet, I'm coming to the house. See if you can get Angelina or Victor. I'll need help on this one."
"Carm... be careful. There is already a bounty out on your head and three groups are interested."
"Then god help them Whisper. Because she hurt someone close to me. And when I'm finished, I'll remind her who she fucked with."

The shuttle arrived in Siside and it was noticed. As it vectored to the house cloaked ships that were waiting followed discretely. As soon as she landed on the platform and disembarked she noticed that things were not all as they should have been. A burning landing craft was on the shore, the bodies of a dozen mercenaries lay scattered around the gardens and entrance. She also saw the bodies of two geisha. Whisper walked over to her, flanked by two guards.
"They arrived right after we spoke."
"My girls..."
"It could have been worse, but they warned us. Carm, someone let them in. Gave them the access codes."
"It was Saffron."
"I will deal with her at a later date. Assuming we all survive what is coming. What of Kikia?"
"She is safe. The merc were foolish enough to attack them, they were slaughtered. She's not happy with you, but she is safe with the militia. Alizabeth is another matter."
Whisper related to Carm what she knew, what she had gleaned from the messages and contacts.

"So how is she?"
"Still in a coma. There is a guard around her and the medical centre is secure. I can't arrange visitation rights however."
"Why not?"
"You are not family...."
"But..." She sighed, it was true. She wasn't family, but she was close.
"What about Victor or Angelina?"
"Cant' get hold of either of them. But I do have an alternative."
"Who did you get?"
There was a low laugh as a woman walked in, wrapped in a large hooded cloak. The hilts of two swords poked out from under the cloak and a large rifle was strapped to her back. Carmilla looked at her, and smiled
"I didn't realise things were this bad that you would be called."
"You missed me really. Who do I have to kill Carm? We do get to kill someone, right?"
Little Snake flung her hood back revealing a head of long white hair. Carmilla looked into Snakes face. It had been a long time since they had been together. 
"I see you got tattooed Carm. It suits you."
"You ready to go?"
"If she's guarded what's wrong with that? They are competant enough."
"Snake. Shut up. We're going. Whisper, get the girls to the hideout. If they came here once, they might come again. Oh, and get us some nurses outfits."

THe receptionist at the medical centre watched with interest as the two nurses walked towards the centre. They both looks like nurses, but one was carring a large bag and the other a simple datatablet. Their outfits however, were outdated. She smiled as they stopped before the desk.
"Can I help you ladies?"
"We're here to see a patient. Alizabeth Adrelana, we have movement orders for her."
The receptionist took the datatablet and scanned it and pressed a button on the top of her console.
"If you will wait one moment please? I'll get a porter to come and help you."
"Thank you. See," Carmilla whispered to Snake,"I told you this would work. Hinare has never let me down yet."
The elevator behind the smiling receptionist opened and four caldari marines stepped out, weapons at the ready. The blonde nurse swore and reached into the bag which was infront of the desk.
"It's going to work is it? Damn it Carm, you are too soft!"
The receptionists head exploded with the first shot and Snake fired at the marines. People in the foyer screamed and ran in panic.
"Snake! What are you doing, who the hell do you think you are?"
She smiled and laughed and pulled another gun out of her bag and checked the clips.
"I think I am you. Go rescue your woman. I'll keep them busy."

Carmilla leant over the desk and picked up the receptionists datatablet, wiping her brains from the screen and checking the display. She found Aliza's room and headed off to the elevator. Three floors above Aliza's Doctor looked out of the door as he heard the sounds of gunfire. He called to one of the nurses who was running.
"You there. What's all the noise?"
"No time to argue. I need to find room 32."
"Well that's this one but what..."
The barrel of Carm's pistol rammed itself under his chin and he looked into a pair of angry eyes as he was pushed in. She saw Aliza and ran over to the bed, ignoring the Doctor. Shaking her she looked into her Mistresses face.
"Aliza, wake up! Come on, we got to get out of here!"
"She can't wake up, woman. She's in a coma."
"What have you tried?"
"All the usual remedies, nothing worked. It's like her heart has given out."
Carm laid the gun down and ripped the wires out of her arm. The machines screamed. Picking up Aliza she turned to door and looked into the end of her gun, the DOctor behind it grinning.
"Like you are going anywhere. Put her down and put your hands behind..."
A silken sound caused him to look down and he noticed the blade of the sword sticking through his chest. As Snake ripped it out she looked at Carm.
"Are you ready? There are more coming and we need to get to the roof quickly."
She paused and walked over to her.
"Is... she allright?"
"She'll be allright once I get her to safety. Now come on."
They made their way up the stairs and found themselves on the roof. It was empty.
"Carm. I thought you said there would be a shuttle here."
"There should have been."
"I dont see it."
"Nor do I."
Carm laid Aliza down on the ground and pulled out her datatablet and started tapping away.
"Jammed," She said as she slipped it away and watched in the distance as several dropships were heading their way.

"I dont suppose those are going to fly past us."
"No. I think... we may be in trouble."
"There is a way out of this."
"I'm not giving her up!"
Snake smiled.
"I didn't think you would. Trust me?"
Snake picked up Aliza and walked to the edge of the building and looked down.
"Yes, I trust you. You are me. Mostly."
"Then jump...."
Snake leapt over the edge. Carmilla screamed... but she followed.

To be continued.....

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Carmilla and Kikia sat together before the stage, both of them leaning back and watching the practice performance. Several woman were dancing in unison on the stage, the music from one of the more popular current Khanid plays. The building, one of the larger dance studios at the second city was old and well built, the lights coming in from high windows and various positioned sources to bathe the area as required. Acoustically and visually stunning, it was empty apart from those performing and assisting, and four people in the audience.

Kikia watched with enjoyment at the art, Carmilla with a more critical eye. The three women danced with a gracefulness that almost defied gravity at times. 
"Why did you drag me here Carm?"
"You are working too hard. You need to get out more and relax."
"Who told you that? Rose or Orchid?"
"Neither, Maeve did."
Kikia was silent for a moment then smiled and leant against Carm and sighed softly.
"Yes, I suppose I have been too busy. But here? Watching dancers practice for a Khanid Play?"
Carm chuckled and leant over and kisses Kikia gently.
"Because I want to show you new things. Plus, those are my girls up there."
"All my girls go through this. If a geisha can't dance she learns. These three needed to learn."
"I dont know where you get these girls from. I can never seem to find people like them."
"It's a knack I suppose. Like finding someone to teach them to dance. Someone I trust."
"Who is she?"
"She taught me to dance. Many years ago."
Kikia looked up at Carm but saw the look on her face that told her, do not ask again please. Even after all the time they had spent together, Kiki mused, she still had her secrets. Places she wouldn't let Kikia walk with her. She still had troubles, and occasionally still had nightmares, screaming in the night, waking up more a terrified child than her guardian and protector and lover. But that, that was what made Carmilla more human. One minute she was the walled off psychotic hiding behind a thin facade of civilisation, the next the walls were down and the real Carmilla was there. Small, tired, tiny, alone and confused. At times, it really did seem like there were two of them. Her Carm, and the Little Snake. But with each layer she burrowed into, there were three more waiting.

A woman walked onto the stage in a flourish of robes and rapped her cane onto the floor. The three dancers stopped and turned to her. Several of the stage hands looked as well.
"No no no. You need to feel the music, not just imitate it! All three of you look like cattle in the fields. You  will define grace by your movements. The image of your dancing should move people to tears. But none of you can so much as... gah! Again, from the top!"
The three dancers nodded and assumed the starting positions and waited for the music to restart then began once more to dance, their movements near perfect. Kikia squeezed Carm's arm.
"Can you do that? That dance?"
"Then get up there and show your girls how to do it."
"They need to learn."
"Carm. Now."
The two words were quiet, but carried all the authority that Kikia had. Carm looked at her and smiled then kissed her softly and stood up and climbed up onto the stage, removing her jacket and dropping it to the floor and rolling her arms.
"Girls,   Helena. How are we doing?"

The old woman sneered and then smiled and embraced Carmilla.
"They do good work, but there is plenty of room for improvement. As I said to you once, if you remember."
"I remember. Some times I can't forget. Now, what's the problem with them?"
"Aaaaah, they just dont get the music. They are graceful, but they cannot hear the music, they follow the tune. The passion is not there, only obedience to the tune."
"Obedience is a fine quality in a geisha... but I see. Restart the music, girls, watch and learn."

Carm starts to dance with the onset of the music, her body moving slowly at first, with the beat and faster, a look of concentration on her face as she moves. The three girls watch as she dances, as does Helena, nodding her head as if counting something in secret as she moves. Kikia, her eyes glued to her partner smiles as she watches her. The exquisite movements and timing flawless as she danced. She felt, more than saw the other person sit down next to her and closed her eyes and shivered slightly.
"Hello... Alizabeth."
"Hello... Kikia," said Alizabeth Adrelana.

Alizabeth Adrelana smiled and watched Carmilla dancing and relaxed into the chair. Behind them their personal guards were eyeing each other up. The two of the, Holder and Freedom Fighter watched for a while until one of them broke the silence.
"When I got the invitation I was not expecting to see you here, Kikia."
"Nor I you, Aliza. I think it is one of Carmilla's little foibles that she hopes those she loves will be friendly, quite regardless of their positions."
"Hmm, unlikely to happen I think. But, then again...."
Aliza looked around and noticed just how secluded the place was. Their own guards were on the entrances into the place, and few could approach without warning. Those people that were here seemed to know Carmilla, so, most likely, this was a safe haven.
"I think, this is probably the most neutral ground we are ever going to get."
Kikia turned in her chair and looked at Aliza. Aliza looked back. Here, for both, was technically the enemy.

Carm finished her dance and looked over at Helena. She nodded and the girls all clapped. Together with Helena she worked them through the routine until all three of them were as close to perfect as they would get, then the four of them danced the routine until Helena smiled.
"That is the Carmilla I remember. And your girls have the ability to be good. I take it you will train them yourself  once they leave me?"
"Yes, I look after all of my girls."
"And do they look after you?"
Helena gestured to the two women and Carm turned and watched them, and listened to them. They were both laughing and just talking, like two old friends. They both turned and looked at Carm sitting on the edge of the stage.
"Look at her. Have you ever seen anyone so beautiful?"
"No. That is why I had to have her."
"You know she will never leave me."
"And yet she wears my collar."
"The chains that bind her to me can't be broken."
Carm clapped her hands and giggled at them both.
"Come on, I love you both."
Carm slipped off the stage and walked over to them and sat on the chair elbows, slipping her arms around them both and pulling them together.
"So, who am I going home with tonight?"

Carmilla walks behind Aliza as they entered Aliza's apartment. Aliza shut the door and pointed to the centre of the room. On instinct, Carm walked there and knelt down. Aliza came around and ran her hand over her head.
"You are a good slave, Carmilla."
"Yes, Mistress."
"But you could be better."
"I know."
"You'll never be fully mine will you?"
"No. Not while Kikia and Maeve need me.... but I am yours.  And...."
Aliza put her fingers over Carm's lips and smiled.
"Ssssh. And now.... I am going to enjoy you. Totally...."

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


She sat at the table in the middle of the geisha quarters, with three girls around her. Her red hair had been replaced with a long black wig, tied back and up, kept in place with an intricate arrangement of lacquered wooden pins. Slowly her face was painted pure white. While two of the girls chattered and painted her nails, the third begain the artwork that was the rest of her face. Eyebrows were delicately painted on, while her eyeshadow was blended around her eyes from deepest red to a pale pink, the shading as subtle as the colours of sunset. Her lips painted a brilliant crimson, each brush stroke measured and precise. As they stood back and looked, the mask of the geisha looked back, perfection attained, a most delicate beauty and a hidden treasure.

They first spoke face to face, the freedom fighter and the cartel agent, in a holographic location, two avatars seated at a simple bistro table. In reality they were light years apart, but here, in this simple virtual reality, they sat face to face.
You know what I am saying is true
Yes, I do not deny it. But I will not
You will, it is your calling to submit
That was the old me. I have changed
You have changed nothing, slave you were, slave you are now
No. I am Matari, my soul is my own.
You know I can force you
There is no lever large enough to move my heart
Why, because she has it?
Yes. She is my rock. My pillar of strength
I will force you
I will not kowtow to threats
My dear, who said I was going to threaten you? Three days and I will call upon you. Be ready.

The brought in the kimono, it was unique. Created for an event such as this, a white caldari silk, faintly luminescent and perfectly cut. As she slipped into it, they wrapped the belt around her, pale pink to match her eyes. Once she was ready they checked how she looked, and not until all three agreed did she turn and walk out towards the main ceremonial chamber. The rest of the geisha house was quiet, empty save for the geisha who were discrete, and the guards who had been requested by the client. She walked alone through the building and approached the dias and stood before it, then kneeled on the round cushion that was placed there. With a silent breath she nodded at the hidden eyes and waited. It did not take long, a slow click, click, click as the heels of the client approached, her boot heels clicking on the carved wooden floors, now the swish of her clothes, the sound of her breathing and then she was in the room.
"So, my little snake. Shall we begin?"
Under her kimono, Carmilla shuddered softly.

They both sat in the resteraunt, facing each other. It was one of the more trendy Gallente places to eat on the station, with real trees shipped in, wooden tables and live music. Around them strangers ate, drank and laughed. Intermingled, their guards, for both had brought them. They ordered and just looked at each other until the first course arrived. Over mouthfulls of delicate meats they spoke.
You know now my memory has returned
I had heard, yes
So I know what you did
And I know what you did to Ember, that is why I did what I did
You were forced to do it
Ember was my friend, she didn't deserve what you did
And yet you said I was your friend, at my reception
I did, yes
But you were not. Slaves do not mingle with their betters
Priviledge of my alpha status... and I didnt' think you would remember
So what other lies do you tell?
I do not lie.
I dont believe you
Belief is not required...
... only obedience. You are not in the covenant now
Says you?
I know. Trust me, I know 
So what do you want?
Me? You can't have me. I am Kikia's
I dont care. I want you. And I will get you
You cannot threaten me
Again with the idea of threats.
I will not go willingly
Yes, you will. You will beg me to accept you

The woman took off the long coat she had on and placed it on a peg on the wall and walked around the dias. Carmilla could feel her eyes on her, could smell her perfume, could almost taste her, her scents intoxicating. Each click was followed by an eternity of silence as she walked slowly around her. She kept kneeling, and looking straight ahead. The requirements of the client had been specific. Silence, utter silence. No movement after kneeling on the dias. Payment and danger to geisha on scale seven. That alone, she thought at the time, had meant that she would be dealing personally with the client. None of her girls ever performed under scale seven. It was reserved solely for herself. She would not let them. The sound of creaking leather made her pay attention, her eyes searching around the room. In her mind she knew there was nothing leather in the room. It must have been something the client had brought with her.
"So, little snake. Do you know how long I have wanted to have you in this position?"
"You do not answer? Good. As a geisha, your obedience is first rate. Far better than your obedience as a slave. In truth my dear, I wonder what you get out of it."
The client walked around infront of her and took the solitary chair in the room and sat before her. She crossed her legs and sat back, looking at her.
"I must say, you do look beautiful. I can't wait until you are mine. You do want to be mine, don't you?"
Silence again. Carmilla knew this game, and played it well. But there was concern here. For not only did she know the client, the client knew her. And could probably read her better than anyone. Especially now.
"Yes, again no answer. I wonder, will you dance for me, as you danced for her? Would you take your knives to her as you did for me?"

Carmilla felt a stiring within her. She was bringing up the past, one of the only weapons that could be used against her. Her past, that black pit of horror. And what better person to do it. The client had known her of old, had seen her submit, had seen her punished, seen her pleasured. Had been tortured by her. Was that it? Was this revenge? Was it hate that drove her? No, there was no hate in her eyes when she last saw her... but that was before... her memory was returned.
"Are you scared Carmilla? Do you wonder what I am going to do to you? I wonder why you accepted the contract for tonight. But of course, I used your own rules against you. No names for scale seven. Only an acceptance of the fee and the setting of the terms. Your rules, Carmilla. And I will push you to your limits. I wonder, would you have refused if you'd have known I was your client?"
Silence. Carmilla fought inside her to find peace, to control her heart and calm down. Here was someone to fear. Within the boundaries they had agreed upon, client and geisha, and the fee there were certain limits that could be pushed that were not permissable on lower scales. And now, she was begining to see how dangerous that was. Few people who ever used the seventh scale had an inkling about the limitations of freedom and the dangers of being unrestrained. That, was a small mercy, though the money was often too good to turn down.

Slowly the client stood up and walked around the dias. Against the sound of leather under stress. For a moment there was a sound, with a speed that was unnatural she knew what was coming and how to prepare against it. The whip lashed through the air and impacted her back, the sound of the crack loud in the silence of the room.
"You see Carmilla, I want you on your knees before me. All the time. I want you to be mine."
"Maybe I will do to you, what you did to me."
"Or maybe I'll just hurt you for the pleasure of hurting you."
Crack! Crack!
"Call out. Go on. Cry out, scream. Beg me."
In the silence all that could be heard were the sounds of them both breathing, and the sound of leather under stress as she pulled the whip again. With her jaws clamped shut, her eyes looking forward, tears were running down her cheeks. I will not fail, she thought to herself. I can endure this. I must.
"You're good Carmilla. But I'm better. I learnt my trade well, and dont forget, you taught me some of your best. I watched the recording of what you did over and over. I have you here for four hours. You will submit to me, beg me to take you, and all this... stops. The pain, the anguish, it all goes."
Silence. The whip lashed out again, and again, and again, and again.
"You will beg me Carmilla, or you will find yourself flayed to the bone!"
In the silence, Carmilla looked straight ahead as the back of her kimono, already torn in some places began to change colour, from white... to pink... to red as the whipping continued. And still, she was silent as her makeup ran in rivulets of colour.

When the time was up, the Geishas who had been standing in the darkness of the hallway walked in without announcement and stood infront of Carmilla. The one who stood before her looked at the client with blind eyes and smiled.
"Your time is up. If you would be so kind as to return to your quarters some refreshments will be provided for you."
"I havn't finished with her yet."
"I'm sorry, would you like us to escort you? It will not be a problem and I can assure you, you will not be harmed."
Something of the singsong tone of the blind geisha got through to the client and she dropped the whip on the floor and walked towards the hallway.
"When she recovers, tell her I will be at my apartment. I expect to see her there."
Whisper turned back around, Orchid and Rose were both looking at Carmilla's back. The kimono was torn and shredded, her back was a mess of blood and ripped flesh. Looking in her eyes they saw only blankness, no recognition.
"Call Kim. This is bad. I've never seen her like this before."
"Do you want us to take care of the client?"
"No. Carmilla knew what she was doing. The client is protected. Get her to the medical bay. She'll live, but her back won't be pretty."