This is the diary & short stories of Shalee Lianne, in the fictitious universe, New Eden, in the game of Eve Online. Come be a part of her world...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Entry 125: Eytjangard part 4

Huola Star System


Predator Elite woke in a cold sweat, his heart thudding loudly, his fingers wound tightly around a thin gray blanket.

The nightmare hovered on the edge of his consciousness, fogging his thoughts and for the moment he couldn't let go of it. Despite the ending, he forced himself to remember the rest, if only to see her face again.

To remember.

She was breathtakingly beautiful.... long straight brown hair, sparkling green eyes that lit every time she looked at him.

His wife.

He sat up and dropped his feet to the floor as he rubbed his hands across his face.

He could still her voice. Such warmth, such love.

She had been everything to him. Wife, lover, friend. Mother to his two sons.

His breathing became ragged as the last few moments of the nightmare played out.

Her screaming, pleading not for herself but for her children.

All three of their voices melded together in one unbearable sound of torture.

And then there was silence.

A mind numbing stretch of silence. How long had it lasted? Hours? Days? Weeks?

He couldn't remember. He couldn't remember anything except an unquenchable thirst for revenge. The days following the murder of his family was nothing but a blur as he tracked down everyone responsible for their deaths.

Standing, he forced the dark memories away as he activated comms, listening to the endless flow of information over the various intel channels. It kept his mind busy, kept him from remembering, from feeling.

A few moments later after a quick shower and a cup of coffee, he stepped out of the captain's quarters of his Bhaalgorn.

As he rallied up a fleet for patrol, he scanned the joining members, noting that she wasn't there.

The second night in a row and she'd been absent, without a word as to why. It was unlike her. She'd been by his side almost unfailing since he'd join the Amarrian militia.

A feeling of dread washed over him. The not knowing was the worst, not that she owed him an explanation of where she was...but goddamn it.

Didn't she know he'd worry?

***

Shalee tightened her fingers in her hair as she laid her forehead against her knees, huddled in the corner of their cage. It had been thirty eight hours since she'd been captured.

It had been nearly four days since she'd truly slept. Exhaustion drenched every pore of her skin. She'd become feverish and started to hallucinate as she'd come down from the high of stims she'd used to keep awake during the exodus.

The stench of death hovered. They had left the one who had tried to protect her in the cell with her and the doctor and now he had begun to rot.

She barely noticed the smell and could only vaguely hear Lora's strained voice.

"Shalee, listen to me." Lora commanded. "You have to get some sleep."

"I have...remember?"

"You were unconscious, it's not the same thing. You need to rest..." she said with a mixture of worry and scolding.

"I'm fine."

"No. You're not. You have to sleep, you're getting sick and there's nothing I can do for you like this."

Before she could respond, the door opened.

Two Seibestor guards grabbed each woman and yanked them from the cage to tie their hands behind their backs.

Her body ached with protest at the sudden jarring, her muscles sore and stiff.

She blinked several times, trying to adjust her vision to the dim light. It was dark out though there were several fires lit along the way giving off enough light that she could make out the swarm of armed men huddled around the camp site.

She locked her gaze on one man as she passed by him. He leered in return.

They were taken towards a crude building made of wood and jagged pieces of metal.

"On your knees!" The two women were forced down a few feet from the door, pressed into the thick mud.

Galt Yaster, a tall, wiry Seibestor, stepped out wearing a dirty, bloodied uniform. He was older than the both of them, his face lined with wrinkles and scarring.

Defiantly, Shalee lifted her head and stared at him, her blue eyes lit with fury.

He laughed at her boldness. "Such spirit for someone so young." He neared them and cupped Shalee's chin, his thumb grazed along the edge of her jaw, smearing away the dirt. "Have you enjoyed my hospitality?"

She said nothing in return.

He chuckled as he squatted in front of her. She could smell a mixture of alcohol and cigarettes on his breath as he leaned in to whisper, "I will have fun breaking your spirit."

Her stomach lurched as she felt the tip of his tongue on her ear. In a swift movement, she jerked her head around and clamped her teeth against his chin, biting as hard as she possibly could before he shoved her away.

"You god damned whore!" He shouted as he stood, hand pressed against his bleeding chin. "You'll fucking pay for your insolence!" Yaster motioned several of his men forward. "Take her inside."

They neared Shalee, "No. Not her. The doctor. Leave the door open, let her hear everything."

The men drug Lora into the building.

Seconds later the doctor's screams filled the night air.

Shalee squeezed her eyes shut and started deliriously humming to herself to drown out the torture.

She gasped, choking on air as Yaster's knee slammed into her back, "Shut the fuck up. You'll listen to every god damned scream she makes and you'll know it's because of you. You'll hear everything, and you'll wonder exactly what they are doing to her. You can sit there with your pride and arrogance, fucking Amarrian whore, and you'll know that you did this to her."

He grabbed a fistful of hair and jerked her head back, "Open your god damned eyes. I want you to stare at the door and listen to what you've done. Are they raping her? Are they taking turns fucking her brains out? Are they slicing her open? I want you to fucking wonder whats going on in there, fear it, little one....because you're next."

***

(Eytjangard Blues, part 4)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Entry 124: Eytjangard part 3



"Are you awake?"

Consciousness came slowly, as if she were swimming through muddy water, trying to reach the shimmering light above the surface, following the sound of the woman's voice.

She heard the question again but couldn't tell where the voice was coming from or who it belonged to.

As she blinked open her eyes, a trickle of blood slithered down her forehead, wetting her lashes. Pain shot through her as she lifted a hand to wipe it away.

She couldn't quite catch her breath. Her vision was blurred, distorted images, shadows, and beams of light melded together.

Her body ached all over, feeling heavier than it should. As she tried to move she realized she was trapped beneath something.

Or someone...

"Oh god!" She started to panic as she struggled beneath his weight.

"Be quiet," the whisperer commanded. "And for the love of Junip stop moving, don't worry about him, he is dead."

Shalee went eerily still after resting her head against the back of the cage.

"He wouldn't leave you," the voice whispered to her. "He tried to protect you. They called him a hero... before they murdered him."

"He died?" Shalee gasped as tears streaked through the smeared blood and mud across her face. "Oh gods he died because of me? But how did we get here? Where are we?"

"You're in a slave prison camp."

"And who are you?" she asked as the memories slowly started to trickle through the fog in her mind.

"Doctor Lora Wells, from Otellen Prime. Part of the Amity Project. My team had been here for a few weeks...." she went silent for a moment, "...until the massacre."

She could hear the pain in her voice even if she couldn't see her in the darkness. "I'm sorry."

"I had went for supplies..." Her voice was soft, older. Compassionate. "I...when I got back, the entire hospital..." Her voice cracked, "They were all dead."

Lora explained in a tight voice, "They have no use for the sick, and I can only imagine that my team tried to fight back, tried to defend them. But they are doctors, not warriors, goddammit."

"I'm so sorry." Shalee apologized , feeling it were somehow her fault. If she would have arrived sooner, maybe she would have been able to rescue more. Done more.

"There was no one left. No one." Lora responded in a dull voice. "They slaughtered every single person there, struck them dead in their beds, left their mangled bodies across the floors. Some had tried to fight back I think, sick as they were. And I came back to it, walked through the carnage and wondered ...why not me? Why was I spared? Why..."

Silent tears snaked a steady path across her cheeks, dripped onto her filthy shirt, wetting it. "God must have a purpose for you still," Shalee whispered.

"You think I still believe in God?" Lora whispered grimly.

"You're angry. But God didn't kill those people. Men did. Evil, sadistic men."

"God didn't save them either." Lora said in a higher pitched voice, as if she were on the verge of hysteria.

"Maybe he did. Maybe that was his way of saving them...now they are with him." Shalee hesitated, "We are all meant to die eventually."

"How can you even say such a thing, being a capsuleer..."

"I know, I haven't the right to say anything. I'm sorry."

Lora sighed softly, "No, you're right, I shouldn't lose my faith. They can take everything else from me, but that's one thing I shouldn't let them murder. God damned savages."

"How long have you been here?" Shalee whispered.

"About a week. They caught me a few hours outside of Camp Louella, I was trying to get to the space port."

"Do you know how long I've been here?" she asked.

"A day or so. They brought you in with him. He was still fighting them when they brought you both in."

"Darg." Shalee shifted again, wincing as she tried to pull her leg out from beneath him. "He was a volunteer, he was....I don't know anything else about him." she said remorsefully.

They both fell silent.

She listened to the sound of rushing water nearby, the constant droning of insects, peppered with the occasional far away scream. She offered up a silent prayer.

"I'm Shalee, by the way."

"I know. You talk in your sleep....you've been pretty out of it. That's why they put you in here with me, told me to 'make sure she doesn't die'. You're obviously worth a lot of ISK to them." She gave Shalee a long speculative look. "Can I ask you something?"

"Yes."

"Why are you here? Not in the camp I mean, but..why does someone from the Amarr militia fight to enslave people, then turn around and secretly try to set them free?"

"I didn't fight for Eytjangard. I'm in the militia to defend our sovereignty from invaders, terrorists. There's a difference. Most in the Knighthood only fight defensively...we are not part of the reclaiming. But we will defend what is ours by right."

"Do you own slaves?" she asked.

"No, of course not." Shalee said with frustration.

"Sorry, stupid question."

"It's alright. Most people hear an Amarrian accent and just automatically assume slaver. But slavers represent only a small faction of the population. The Fed's and Matar like to spread their propaganda and people just eat it up."

"I shouldn't have said anything, really sorry." Lora gave a sigh of exhaustion as she looked forward, peering through the bars of their crude cage. "I wonder what they are going to do with us..." She sounded afraid.

"I don't know..." Shalee replied. "But surely AP must know what has happened...surely they will send somebody..." Her brows furrowed, knowing that it would be impossible for the Project to get involved, technically Amity Project did not exist.

"Yeah. They will send someone. Surely." Lora agreed, knowing it was a lie but needing something to believe in.

A Vherokior slid two trays into the cell as the doors swung open. Moonlight spilled across the floor. Shalee blinked, her vision still blurry, her head aching. She looked to her captor, "I know you don't expect me to eat while I have a dead man laying across me." she said sharply.

"You will eat," he said matter of fact as he stooped over and shoved the body off of her. Two armed guards came up behind the Vherokior, smirking, leering.

He grabbed her by the ankle and slid her forward, towards him. She struggled frantically as raw fear seized her. "Please! No!"

He laughed as he grabbed her other foot, pinning her down, "She's a spirited one." He said to the two laughing behind him.

"Don't you dare touch me! I'll kill you I swear to God I'll slit your throat open!" She screamed, struggling as he climbed across her.

He shoved her bound hands above her head against the blood slicked floor. "That's it, fight me little Ni Kunni, makes it all the better," he said loudly, as if enjoying it.

She spit in his face.

Shalee squeezed her eyes shut and rolled her head to the side as he leaned his head down to hers. His mouth was on her ear, "The Commander is coming. He said you'd know what to do."

The scarred Vherokior pressed something into the palm of her hand as he climbed off of her, laughing.

The door slammed then locked, the Vherokior chuckled, pretending to threaten her, "I'll be back for you, little one."


****
(((OOC note. Check out Kuan Yida's blog, Eytjangard Blues 3, he is writing the Eytjangard story from his character's perspective. Also, the story is dedicated to SilenceIKillYou♥, since he is the one who asked us to write it.)))

Friday, December 17, 2010

Entry 123: Eytjangard, part 2

She sat, staring at two small girls. One with long red ringlet curls, the other with honey blonde straight hair and sparkling blue eyes.

They stared back at her, unblinking.

"Who are you?" she asked, her voice sounding very far away, alien even to herself.

The smallest suddenly grinned, her dimples popping, her face animated with light. Angelic, almost.

"Oh god...am I dead?" Shalee looked around frantically as fear coursed through her. To be dead was to be judged by God. To finally pay the price for her sins.

"No. You are not dead. You are...sleeping. Sort of. You're unconscious." The red headed answered.

"I see..." she said in a very calm voice, her fear fading just a bit. "Wait. No, I don't. Where am I? Who are you?"

"We are you." The red headed answered her again while the blonde merely stared at her.

"Uh...?"

"Parts of you, anyhow. Raphael calls me Red."

"Raphael knows you?" Shalee asked.

"Of course. Everyone knows me. I visit them sometimes." Red puckered up her small mouth, lips pursed, expression stubborn. "I have to, because you wont."

"I don't understand..."

"I know." She said cryptically. "Cause I know everything about you." She tapped her fingertip to her temple. "I am here, remember?"

"I'm losing my mind, obviously." Shalee said as she glanced around the white room. A vast expanse of white, the corners thin streams of pale light.

"Not really. You're just afraid. You don't tell people what you really think or feel. You're always keeping secrets from everyone, afraid that if they know the truth they will hurt you. Like Hadrien did. But everyone isn't like him. You hide...so I come out. I try to fix things for you."

"Well obviously you're not doing too good of a job." She countered, thinking about all the fucked up things in her life.

Red sighed rather dramatically, "You do make things awfully hard, you know."

Shalee looked from Red to the blonde girl. "And who is she exactly?"

"You were her."

"Were?"

"Yeah. Before you were Shalee. Before you were born. Long time ago, you were her. She tried to show you stuff but you kept ignoring her and finally she stopped....but now she's back."

Shalee's face flashed with skepticism. "Look. I don't believe in any of that nonsense, reincarnation or whatever. I'm no Intaki." Shalee said matter of factly, almost as if she were lecturing the girl.

Red grinned mischievously, "No, but you were. And anyhow, doesn't matter if you believe. Doesn't take your belief in stars or planets or spaceships to make them so does it? They simply exist."

Shalee looked between Red and the blonde again. "Alright. So if I was her, what is she doing here now?"

Red shrugged, "I don't know. She doesn't really talk and she hardly ever comes around anymore. I try to find her sometimes but it's like...." She looked thoughtful for a moment, "Like she's hiding behind something. And I can't really reach her."

"But she's here now." Shalee said, pointing to the blonde child.

"Yes, well, sort of. None of us are really here. It's like a dream, sort of. And anyhow, I'm only here because I can't get out..."

"What does that mean?"

"When you sleep I can go anywhere really. All the holoworlds. And I can use the holodrones and go to the real world too. Anywhere I want. I talk to all kinds of people, especially in the Keep. But....now I'm stuck. I can't get out. I think something happened. Or maybe it's because you're not really asleep, but unconscious. You're partially aware of what is happening out there, I think."

"Where?"

"In the jungle."

"The jungle...?"

"Try to remember. You're on Eytjangard. They invaded the camp as you were trying to leave. You almost died." Red frowned deeply, her tiny little face a picture of sorrow. "Reslye saved you."

Shalee nodded slowly as it started to come back to her. "I remember...it was raining. And I had a ship malfunction and...oh gods. Chase? He was coming back for me and they shot him out of the sky...."

Red widened her eyes. "He will live again, you needn't worry about him, he is a capsuleer. It's poor Reslye that you should mourn. She died trying to save you. She took the bullet that was meant for you. Then Darg picked you up cause you got hit with some debris as something exploded. Blood was everywhere, but you were alive and he picked you up and carried you. He stopped somewhere and wrapped your bleeding head with lots of bandages and now he is still running with you...but they are chasing."

Shalee paled, "Now?"

Red nodded, "Right now. He is running through the jungle with you...listen." She slanted her gaze as if looking elsewhere, "Can't you hear them? The guns? Listen. People are still dying." The little girl started to cry, "They keep shooting them. The ones that they can't sell. The very old and sick...they're all going to die!" she sobbed.

Shalee looked over Red's shoulder, staring at the white wall, as if hypnotized. A light appeared, a tiny pinpoint of yellow light. It started to spread, taking the shape of a moon. The dark sky surrounding it bled across the white wall. Stars twinkled against the sky, pieces of asteroids shimmered. Closer, leaves took shape, tangled vines, and plumes of smoke. She inhaled, smelling a mixture of blood, smoke, and sweat. A cacophony of sound assaulted her at once; gunfire, screams, and a steady rhythmic thumping. A heartbeat. Darg's heartbeat?

Her blue gaze met his as she looked up at him. "Commodore?" He said breathlessly. Sweat dripped down his face. She shivered, feeling cold and faint despite the humid jungle breeze.

Before she could respond, the room went white again. She looked to Red, "You need to do whatever it is that you do and go get help."

"I'm trying. I'm working on it, anyhow. But you're gonna have to go all the way asleep, I think. Or something. Maybe you hit your head too hard, maybe I'll never be able to leave again..."

Shalee tried to console the child, "We are going to be fine." She didn't really believe it.

Red pouted, "You shouldn't lie, I know when you're lying."

Shalee folded her arms across her chest. "This is fracked up," she muttered. "Talking to you. Who is me. Or was me." She shook her head, on the verge of hysteria.

Red stood up. "I saw something. Just before you were hit....in the camp. There were some people. Not BT's, not refugees either. And they weren't from the Amity Project, not the volunteers."

"Who were they?"

Red shrugged, "I don't know...but they were watching you. They have been watching you, I think. You just weren't paying attention."

"I was exhausted." She'd been living off stims to keep her going.

"I know."

"Did they look like Imperial Agents?"

The little girl shrugged, "I don't know, I couldn't tell really. They were just...out of place."

Shalee didn't know whether to be relieved or more afraid. Was it someone to help her or someone to harm her?

"When I fall asleep, I need you to tell someone...." But who? She couldn't involve anyone in the Amarr Empire. She could get in trouble, be branded a traitor to the Empire. Though she had pirate friends, could she really count on them to help? They might try to save her but they'd leave the rest to perish, or perhaps try to sell the people themselves. Anything for ISK. That left the enemy. Which Minmatar could she trust to intervene? Who would help and not sell her out in the process?"

"Mister Yida? He knows you help the slaves." Red said practically, "And he wouldn't want to hurt you."

"That will work...if you can reach him. We don't have very much time. Contact ...anyone from the Minmatar, anyone who is in local. We will just have to risk it."

Red nodded, "Alright. I can do that...but what if I can't get out?"

Shalee shook her head, "Then I don't know...."

***
(Eytjangard Blues part two, companion piece)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Entry 122: Eytjangard, Part 1

Eytjangard Star System


"We must fight them. We must beat them back with the plated fist of righteousness. We must take the flaming sword of Amarr and drive it deep into their stone cold hearts! Nay, my brothers; we don't do this for personal profit or fame. We don't drive back the darkness for medals or glory. Our pure motivation is LOVE! Love for God. Love for Empress. Love for those poor filthy Matari wretches."

Gabriel Theodoulo's speech played on a continuous loop over the airwaves as the Eytjangard system went through the gruelling process of changing hands. Every space port, every government building, any and all official holdings would change from the Minmatar to the Amarr.

It would take weeks for the Minmatar government to evacuate, officially.

During those weeks, Shalee spent her downtime helping with the unofficial evacuations.

It was a race against time. A race to clear out people before the slavers could get to them.

Like all things Amarrian, it took an enormous amount of time to go through proper protocols to get the government systems up and running. There was paperwork to file, ceremonies to be had, speeches to be given.

An Amarrian Reclaiming could be swift, but an Amarrian Occupancy took time.

Precious, precious time. Those hours, days, and weeks after a reclaiming was so tied up in pomp and circumstance that Slavers could come in and clear out entire villages without anyone ever being the wiser. They would come in the night, like the Sansha, using drop ships and soldiers and simply take what they wanted with little resistance. Simply because no one was there to stop them.

It was illegal in theory but far too common in practice for anyone in the upper echelons of Amarrian society to really care.

By the time the Amarrian government officials were in place, thousands upon thousands of Matari would simply be reported missing without any real effort to find them.

Missing, what the offical reports said.

Abducted, what everyone knew.

***

She'd been asked by the leaders of the Amity Project to intervene, to be a part of the Eytjangard exodus, to help clear out as many refugees as she could before the slavers could get to them. Naturally those who could afford to do so had already fled off world. The poor were left stranded.
For two days she flew with a team of other capsuleers, ferrying Matari from crude, makeshift landing pads to the spaceport where they would then be divided up and relocated to various other systems.

It was an exhausting process.

Thousands upon thousands wanted to leave. The refugee camps were overflowing with those waiting their turn, waiting for their chance for freedom, a new life elsewhere.

Young and old alike littered the muddy streets of Camp Louella, named for the infamous Space Nun. They carried suitcases, boxes, anything that could fit beneath their arms.

Smoke unfurled into the gray sky from fire pits spread along the camp, masking the smell of a thousand, rain drenched refugees.

Shalee stood on the platform, her clothes dirty, face streaked with mud, expression weary. Exhaustion colored the pale skin beneath her eyes a shade of dark blue.

She gave a tired sigh as she waited for the volunteers to settle the next batch of people into the hold of the cargo shuttle.

Her gaze slanted up, looking towards the clouded sky as she listened to the rain pelting against the tarp that had awkwardly been suspended across the landing pad's 'waiting station'.

The other capsuleers often stayed in their pods during their down time, but this go around she had opted to have a look around.

A part of her wished she hadn't. She'd seen too much in such a small amount of time. Too many desperate people, their dark eyes silently begging her to help them. Their fear was almost a palpable thing. The fear of the unknown, of their uncertain futures. That is, if they were lucky enough to make it off the planet in time.

Those that wouldn't be saved, those people would face a much worse fate.

"Commodore?" Reslye interrupted her reverie as she stepped up behind her. "It's time."

"Alright, thank you." She glanced to the Intaki, giving her a tired smile. "I'm ready." She followed her over to the transporter. "What's going to happen to all those people...." she asked as she changed into her pod suit.
"Some will start new lives and all of this will eventually be just a horrible memory. The lucky ones anyhow. Some will flourish, others will perish, unable to cope with the change. And those we wont be able to rescue in time?" Reslye shook her head, "They will be stolen away for the illegal slave markets or processed into the new regime for 'reeducation'."

"I wish we had more time. I wish..." Shalee trailed off, her expression grim. Wishing was useless. The only thing that mattered was ferrying off those people, as many as she could anyhow.

"I know." Res gave her a quick hug. "We are all doing what we can, and every little bit helps. Try not to dwell on the people we cannot save, but all of those who will have a chance just because you are here."

Shalee nodded, "I'm trying. It just seems so unfair, all of it."

"It is. The Amarrians come in and 'reclaim'...and yet most have no real idea of what that even means to these people. Uprooted from their homes, their lives turned upside down. These people haven't hurt anyone, these people...." She stared off into the distance, looking at the countless refugees huddled by the fires, shivering beneath makeshift tents.

It was Shalee's turn to say, "I know."

The two women looked at one another for a long moment. "You have a safe journey."

"I will. See you on the flipside, okay?"

Moments later, Shalee was preparing for take off when an explosion shook the landing pad. Over comms, another capsuleer who was on his way back down gave the grim news, "Looks like we've been discovered. Get the hell out of there Commodore."

"I'm trying...I'm trying!" Her body tensed as adrenaline coursed through her. She could hear another explosion as she tried to get airborne.

"Goddamnit, system malfunction! What's happening? Chase? What's going on out there?"

"BTs." Slang for Blood Traitors, bastards who would sell out their own people for ISK and protection of the new regime. "You have to get out of there Lianne, you can't be discovered you know that. You have to leave them behind!"

"Even if I wanted to I can't! Somethings wrong..."

"Fuck it," he uttered as he changed course, "I'm coming for you."

"No, Chase, don't. Don't risk it!" She quickly started the depodding procedure. Ambiotic fluid drained away as she disconnected. A minute later she was sliding onto the metal grating, listening to the dripping fluid splash in the vat below.

"Too late, we can't leave you behind. If you're caught, you'll jeopardize the whole mission."

"I wont get caught, I swear."

"I'm not going to risk it."

"Stupid, stupid man! I'll be okay, I know where the safe houses are. I'll be able to escape," she told him as she quickly dressed into commoner's clothing. Matari clothing, it would help her blend in better as she made her escape. "I'll comm you once I am.."

Another explosion rocked the landing pad. She lost her balance and fell forward, grasping onto the door. She crawled the short distance to the exit as smoke filled the corridor.

Coughing, she doubled over as she tried to catch her breath. She could barely hear Chase barking orders over the earpiece as the refugees screamed in terror all around her. Gunfire erupted, drowning out the sound of everything as the BT's moved in on the camp.

She stood there, frozen in place as the rain trickled down her face. Sound faded into nothingness, eerily silent as the world around her seemed to slow down, moving in slow motion.

She watched in horror as the traitors shot those who tried to run. Those who stayed were forced down upon their knees in the mud, their hands hastily tied behind their backs.

Above, the sky turned a myriad of colors as a rocket slammed into a returning shuttle.

"Chase..."

And just as suddenly as everything went silent, sound and motion returned with a sharp piercing bang.

Reslye was beside her, grabbing her by the arm, pulling her to safety as another volunteer shot one of the traitors who had spotted them.

She watched him fall, blood splattering across his dirty shirt, dripping down his torso.

"Run!" The last thing she heard before everything went black.

***

(( Eytjangard Blues, Part One ~ companion piece ))

Friday, December 10, 2010

OOC, auction & stuff

http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1428392

/ giggle.

So the auction ended at 175mil. Dunno how I feel about that, the stuff probably isn't worth all that. I'll contract it to the guy but I doubt he will pick it up. Hope he does tho, this is the absolute brokest I've ever been on EvE, ever.

In other news, I'm toly e-famous. Read my interview here:
http://theicyhawt.tumblr.com/ lots o' love for Sneaky♥

And Shalee is mentioned in a new story by Milan (previous Michael Priboj) here:
http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1429483

PIE does a contest for the best Amarrian for the year, they keep the nominations open for 10 days or so, then narrow it down to a 'short list' for their corp to vote on. They just announced the short list, and everyone who was nominated BUT Shalee made it to the short list...and the short list includes people like Zenton Karvash (whom I'm ok with ooc, but IC come on! he betrayed Amarr and hunted them down). And Kazzzi! For fucks sake! I never expected Shalee to win because she is too much of a wild child by PIE's stuffy old standards. But to get snubbed like that, ouch. Feel free to express your general outrage here: http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1424037

And lastly! Everyone keeps asking me what is up with Zenton, why he left IFW and Minmatar. I do not know, okay? I am not Zenton's keeper. However, I do know that he has a new RP blog which can be read here:
http://zentonkarv.blogspot.com/

Oh, and, our corp wishing you a merry christmas here: http://www.kotmc.com/forum_threads/665357 (it makes me giggles everytime)

Update:
http://minerinconviences.blogspot.com/
The blog of Raphael Saint, very good read!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Entry 121: Resurrection

She remembered. A breath inhaled. A breath released. Her heart racing, body tensed. Waiting. And then, glimmering green lights piercing the hull before darkness enveloped her.

How much time passed between death and resurrection? Those last thoughts, memories, emotions, all of the events and feelings and experiences that make up life, how long did it take to process, to send, to inject, or whatever the fuck that happened as one clone died and another suddenly jolted to life.

How much time in between? And what happened to a soul during those fleeting moments of being neither here nor there?

Where were you?

Did you see the face of God?

***
"Commodore Lianne?" Jonathan, her chief pod tech pulled the breathing tube from her mouth while rubbing a cloth across her eyelids.

She blinked several times, trying to focus, her expression vauge as if she hadn't fully woken.

"Are you with us?"

"I'm here..." She pulled her hand up out of the shimmering ambiotic fluid and reached for the cloth, taking it from him.

"Good, good." He helped her to her feet and wrapped a towel around her, then lead her off to the showers.

Later, he put her to sleep so that he could inject her implants. The humm of one of the holograms activating caught his attention. He turned his head, seeing the the smallish holoform of a small girl. She wore a long white dress with her red hair hanging to her waist in ringlet curls.

The hologram grinned and waved to him shyly. She stepped over to the table to watch him work.

"You know, I still haven't figured out exactly how you're doing that..."

She shrugged, "Me either."

The first time he'd seen her, he almost thought she was some sort of apparition or hallucination, knowing it would be impossible for a real child to activate a holodrone inside of the medical facility. The place was absurdly secure, capsuleers paid a lot of isk to make certain of that.

After speaking with her the second time, he realized she was some sort of manifestation of Shalee's subconsciousness. When the Commodore slept, her mind did not. Instead, she had somehow used her implants to connect with the outside world.

Jonathan was fascinated, having never heard of holographic sleepwalking until the impish girl randomly appeared to him one strange day.

From that point on, he became determined to figure out how she was doing it, and why.
She could manifest most anywhere there was a holodrone. He had traced her digital footprints, finding remnants of her in several hubs of virtual reality as well. What he couldn't understand is why Shalee chose the avatar of a small girl.

What made her wander New Eden while she slept? And why did she not remember when she woke up?

"How are you, little one?" he asked as he slowly went through the procedure.

She sighed, "We are not very good, I think."

"What's happened?"

"She's been really sad..." The holographic little girl paced by one of the stainless steel tables, absently looking at the medical equipment.

Jonathan looked at her questionally, waiting for her to explain.

"There was a fight. With Eran. He was really upset with her when she wasn't at the Keep, she was on patrols with Pred. And when she finally got to the Keep he had been waiting for a long time, I think. And he was drunk and...and he was a little bit...angry. She tried to explain but he said she had changed, that there used to be a time she would put him before duty."

He nodded.

"She stayed with him for hours and hours and he didn't get any better, and he kept asking her to love only him. And then he said there were rumors of her with another and when she asked who he said Leopold and she got really mad at him."

Jonathan lifted his brows as the little girl chattered on.

"And then she went downstairs because he was driving her crazy but he followed her, and then he tried to fight with her some more. And she asked him to stop but he wouldn't. And then Verone came in."

"Verone, from VETO?"

She nodded, "Yes. Him." The girl paced around to the other side of the table and gave Shalee a fleeting glance before settling her eerie gaze back on him to finish her story.

"And then Eran wouldn't stop, he kept wanting to fight with her but she tried to tell him she would talk to him later after he was awake and sober and Verone was tired of listening to them fight and he was leaving and she was going to go too but he wouldn't take her. And she got mad at them both."

"And even after Verone left Eran wouldn't stop. He grabbed her and was yelling at her and he told her to tell him to leave him. And so she did. And she pulled away and she left."

Her little face twisted up, her brows drew together as a look of sadness washed across her pale skin, "And then she sent Verone a letter too, she said she never wanted to see him again either. She was mad at them both."

The little girl sighed, "And then she went away, said she wouldn't come back for a while. She asked Zenton to pod her so she could 'start over'."

"Zenton? But he is the enemy is he not? Why would she trust him?"

"She didn't have to trust him. She had to die."

"Good point."

They both looked to the sleeping pilot.

"What will she do now?"

"She says she's going to fix her security status. She says she don't want no more boyfriends either. She says that she just wants to be a nun or something."

Jonathan smirked, "A nun? Intriguing."

The little girl shrugged, "She says she's going to be so good that even mean ole Mitara can't find fault with her."

He chuckled. "That should be interesting."

The girl frowned. "She can be good if she wants to...but it's really hard."

"But she is good already," he said as he looked at her earnestly. "Are you worried?"

She spoke in a very small voice, "Sometimes she does bad things..."

"Such as?" he asked as he methodically went through a check list, the faint blue glow from his datapad lighting his face.

"Like..." she hesitated for a moment, "Well. Like when she has to kill people 'cause Pred says to but then sometimes Aldrith gets mad."

"Ah. That doesn't make her bad necessarily, just makes her a soldier following orders."

She nodded. "I guess. There are other things...."

"...but you don't want to tell me."

"Not yet. He will get mad."

"Who?"

"I can't tell you.

"You can tell me anything, remember that. When the time is right, okay?"

She nodded again. "Okay. But not now."

He lifted Shalee's arm, seconds away from injecting something to bring her out of her forced sleep. "Anything else you want to tell me before I wake her up?"

She shook her head no. "Not really...can I come and see you again?"

"I'm counting on it."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Entry 120: Across The Stars

A faint blueish glow illuminated her face as she accepted the holographic call from her CEO, Aldrith Shutaq.

She paced the catwalk inside her Houla hangar in her pod suit, the holodrone following beside her, "Yes?"

Aldrith offered a small smile. "Hello Shalee. Just checking on you. Everything alright?"

"Just perfect."

"Alright... the sarcasam is not lost on me, but alright. We were just worried since you did not come to the fleet."

"I need some time away from the front. I'm going to work on my security status until it is positive," she said as she neared the med station. A team of pod techs swarmed around her, taking vitals and preparing her flight.

"I understand. Take as long as you need. And if you ever need to talk..."

"I'm fine. Don't worry about me."

"Shalee, of course I'm going to worry," he said.

"Everything is fine. I promise. I've had a bit of clarity."

"I know how that goes... I actually had to have several moments of clarity before I became who I am today. I didn't turn out too bad, I hope?"

She interrupted suddenly, "Don't hate me for what he does. I've tried to be with him but he makes it impossible. I'm done with men."

Aldrith blinked. "Shalee, do you really think I'd blame you for not wanting to be with a drunk? I still admire and care about him, but he has some... issues to work through now. And... wow, done with men? I'm both shocked and proud."

She shrugged.

He smiled a little more, wincing when the cut on his lip opened a bit. "Yeah, he and I had a... talk. One he doesn't remember, but I think a few things stuck.

"She gave a glance to the holo, "What happened to your lip?"

Aldrith laughed light-heartedly. "Funny you'd notice that before the black eye and broken nose..."

She frowned at him, "I wasn't really paying attention, about to undock soon...did he do that?"

"I did a few things to him too..Heh... Brutor. You know. We reached an understanding though." Aldrith said.

"That's good."

"So... when do you think you'll come home?"

"A few days at least," she answered vaguely.

Aldrith nodded, "Take care, Shalee."

"You too, Aldrith." She killed the connection.
 
***
A thousand images and sounds processed at once as she undocked from the 24th in Huola. The ambient noise over comms flowed across her mind like a slow moving river. She picked through the information for the only thing that would stop her from her task. Lukka.

Thankfully he wasn't in system.

By habit, she immediately warped to the insta undock while setting her destination for Lantorn, a system she once lived in during the early part of her capsuleer career.

She'd made up her mind and now all she had to do was actually go through with it. She needed a fresh start, to clear her mind. A new body. A new way of existing.

Her thoughts raced. She knew what she wanted done...but by who's hand? She scanned local and saw Predator Elite docked up. He'd do it, probably, if she begged...but it would cost him standings. She wouldn't ask it of him. She quickly dismissed everyone else in local as well. No, it couldn't be by an Amarrian, it wouldn't be worth the standings hit they would have to take.

A pirate? They wouldn't care about standings. A pirate made the most sense...but who? She thought of Verone. Could he? Would he? He'd probably yell, call her dramatic. No, it couldn't be at his hands. Nor at the hands of the only other pirate she trusted, Vincent. He'd probably tell Verone first, anyhow.

That left the enemy. A few names flickered across her mind, bloodthirsty men who would see to it in a heartbeat...but she didn't want it to be like that.

It had to be symbolic. Had to mean something, else what was the point?

And then she knew who it had to be. She took a chance and invited him to fleet with her. She'd take it as a sign from God that she was doing the right thing, if he were free, then she'd go through with it. If he rejected the fleet, then she'd simply dock back up and forget the whole foolish idea.

"Thank you for accepting the fleet invite..."

"My pleasure Shalee is there something I can do for you?" Zenton Karvash asked.

" ...yes. Could you meet me in Lantorn, for old time sakes?"

"Alright I'll be there shortly."

"I'm going to ask you to do something that should come easily to you." she said as she jumped through the Kourmonen star gate.

"Alright." His tone was curious.

"I w-want you to pod me."

He hesitated, "Why on earth would you want me to do that?"

"Because it's something that needs to be done, because I'm starting over, and I want to fully start over. New body. I don't want the taint of this bounty. Makes me feel like a pirate. I'll devote myself to raising my security status after you do this..."

He said nothing.

"Will you? Will you do this for me Zenton?"

"A fresh start isn't as easy as a new body Shalee... I would know that better than anyone, are you sure that is what you really want to do?"

"I know it's not that easy, but it is symbolic. At least for me." She made the final jump into Lantorn. He was there in unchartered space. She warped to him in nothing but a shuttle.

He was silent for a moment before answering her, "Alright on one term," he said as he locked her, a warning sounded off inside the Amarrian shuttle. Pred's shuttle. She ignored it.

"And that would be?" she asked, trying not to lose her nerve.

"Someone suggested to me I need guidance I would like you to possibly be that guidance, not like theres anyone else who I could turn too."

" ...guidance? You want me to help you? Help you do what, Zenton? You fight for the Minmatar...you're a virtual enemy."

"I don't know how long I'll be fighting for your enemies...and try is all I can ask of you." he said.

"Interesting. Very well then... I shall try."

"Then I shall grant your request."

"Thank you..."

She tensed, waiting. Seconds bled into minutes. "...why are you hesitating?"

"God forgive me," he whispered.

The last thing she remembered before dying was how pretty the green lasers pouring from his Navy Omen looked as they ripped into her ship.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Entry 119: Saving Valhiri

Dear Valhiri,
I don't even know if you will remember me, we only met the once and under bizarre circumstances. I was a part of the rescue effort when you were freed at the slave auction several months ago.
I played the part of the Amarrian Slave holder who purchased you, I took you aboard my ship while we waited for the others to be rescued.
I have thought of you often since your rescue and wondered how you have been. I hope you are well.
I really don't know what else to say here...just wondering about you.
Sincerely,
Shalee Lianne

***

Avari Slave Market, Spring, 112

Sweat trickled down her face as she pulled off the ornate gold and silver headpiece. Heat flushed her cheeks and her heart was racing.

Once inside the transporter, several crew members swarmed her for orders. She'd just purchased several hundred slaves from the Avair market in a ruse to distract the slavers so that the rest of the rescue team could make their move.

Though she was no stranger to the underground world of slave rescue ops, this was the first time she'd worked with many of them. Some faces were familiar like Ashar KorAzor and Esna Pitoojee. She knew and trusted them. The others, not so much. Though she'd heard of people like Jakiin, CJ Walker, and Ember Vykos, she was a bit apprehensive to be working with them, to allowing her identity to be known as someone who actively fought against slavery.

It was one thing to say in the Empire that you owned no slaves, it was a far different thing to be accused of helping free them.

Shalee gave orders to her crew, sending off various slaves into different quarters. Once they were settled in, she gave the go-ahead for take off. She was far more comfortable in orbit than she would be so close to the market.

All but one slave was sent to quarters. Another, Valhiri Akell, would be brought into the captain's quarters.

Blue eyes focused on the rescued girl. She smiled as she motioned for Valhiri to follow her. Though she'd never met her, she had a good idea she was drugged.

"You are my new mistress. I love you, can I rub your feet?"

Shalee frowned, knowing the girl would regret saying any of this later. She couldn't help but to feel sorry for her. "All I want you to do is sit there, okay? We will have you out of here soon, back where you belong."

Valhiri Akell smiled, her eyes glazed over, "I belong to you, now."

Shalee furrowed her brows. "You belong to no one." She pulled up a holo-display, watching the slave auction with interest, debating on going back inside to purchase more.

Valhiri sat placidly as ordered. "Shall I fetch you some water? Or something else? Please tell me what you'd like?"

Shalee trailed her hand through her hair, "No, nothing, thank you." She pulled off the oppressively hot robe and tossed it over the back of a chair. Beneath it she wore long white pants tucked into boots, with a thin white shirt.

"You're very pretty, miss. I'm glad you bought me. I'll do my best to make you happy."

Shalee bit on her bottom lip in thought, watching the holo. She flicked her gaze over to Val, "How long have you been captured?"

Val frowned in thought. "A while. I'm not sure. I was scared, at first, but now I know there's nothing to be afraid of."

"I am Shalee, by the way. We haven't been introduced properly. And I am not your owner. There are some of us here who have come to rescue you and as many of the others as we can."

The drugged girl smiled again, "That's a nice word. 'Rescue'. You're a nice person, miss, I can tell."

Shalee smiled warmly in return. "You seem nice too. And cared for. This is a big operation to rescue one person. A lot of people are at risk."

"Oh. I hope no-one gets hurt."

"Everyone seems more than capable."

Valhiri hesitated, "I thought I saw Amieta, before ... is she here?"

"Yes, she is."

"I like Amieta. She's a good friend. I'm not supposed to be friends with my patients, but I am with Amieta."

"Oh, that's right, you're in medicine?" Shalee asked.

"I'm a shrink. I shrink people's heads." Val giggled.

"That's what people say."

Shalee laughed as well. "Oh. Well I like mine the size that it is, so hands off."

Gunfire erupted in the market, the sound echoing though the live feed. Shalee frowned deeply, tensing, as she watched, worried for those who were still on the ground, fighting it out.

"Would you like me to massage your back, miss?" Val asked, noticing Shalee tensing up.

She shook her head, "No thank you." She listened for a moment, knowing that it was almost over. The cacophony of screams, bullet fire, and general chaos flooding through the comms overwhelmed her. She quickly turned it off and started to pace the cabin anxiously. "I'm sure they will let us know soon...I can't bear to hear anymore of it."

Valhiri looked sympathetic, "Would you like me to distract you? I could sing to you, if you'd like?"

"No no, Valhiri. You mustn't do anything at all for me. I don't own you, it was all a ruse, okay? You're not a slave. Perhaps in time, we could become friends."

"I'd like that. I like being friends with people."

"And take with you the knowledge that not all Amarrians are the same. That not everyone believes in slavery, and that there are some out there who are fighting against it." Shalee looked at her, hoping she would remember, knowing the votixin was likely going to fuzz her memories of the whole thing.

"I used to hate the Amarrians. But now I know that all people are kin, really. We need to love each other." Val said.

"Hate the institution of slavery, even if some Holders do it for the 'right' reasons. Or at least they think they do. But not everyone buys into that dogma or practices such faith any longer. Things are changing in the Empire, slowly but surely."

Before either of them could say anything else, sirens erupted throughout the ship as five hostiles warped in, followed by seven ministry ships. Explosions lit the sky outside the view port as the battle now engulfed them.

"Pardon my Gallente here, but I think it's time we get the fuck out of here...." The ship rattled as another explosion slung debris at the transporter.

She commed the ground crew, "Uh hey...unexpected change of plans, we've a fleet battle going on around us up here..." The power flickered inside the cabin.

Anxiety coursed through her, "We should be in warp now....oh my god why are we not in warp?" She fell to her feet as the ship trembled again.

"Esna!" she commed frantically.

"Shalee, I'm heading to the docking bay at the station. I'll be inbound on the Firefight momentarily."

Her voice took on a higher pitched tone, "I don't know that we have a moment!" Another explosion lit the sky as the cabin went dark.

"Oh god, we are out of cap..." It was the worst feeling in the world, to be a passenger while someone else captained the ship you were flying aboard.

Her gaze met Vals and she tried to appear calm despite the growing fear that any second would be their last.

"Undocking. Shalee, I'm aligning to warp, slaving my navicomputer to your location. Estimate three-zero seconds to arrival."

Over the comms, prayers were being muttered. Shalee offered one up as well, bracing herself for the moment of impact.

Suddenly Esna appeared next to Shalee's transport, the colossal bulk of the Archon-class carrier dwarfing the drop ship. Streams of armor repairing nanites shot out to friendly ships, while a wave of ECM drones hurtled toward what remained of the hostile fleet.

The transporter finally lurched into warp.

The following day a blurb flashed across the streaming feed of galactic news. "Accidental fire erupts in Avair Slave Market. Thousands presumed dead."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

OOC

(( am starting an ooc blog, for randomness. here ))

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Entry 118: Blood and Stars

A bright explosion engulfed the Otelen star gate in Houla seconds after she jumped her Harbinger into system.

Foolish, foolish girl.

She hadn't checked intel. She hadn't asked for a scout.

It was almost automatic, running the pipe from Amarr to Huola. All systems save for one, the final destination, high security. Safe, usually.

Her thoughts were distracted and she simply hadn't paid attention until it was too late.

Bahamut flashed on her overview as she realized six other hostiles were in system.

Fucking lovely.

Holding her cloak, her body tensed as she assessed the situation. No friendlies in system either. Of course, that'd be her luck. She'd passed on a patrol with some of her guys so she could move some things down to the front. No doubt they were several jumps out.

Seconds ticked away as she held cloak, waiting for her chance to burn back to the gate. It would be most likely impossible since she had a fair distance to cover, no microwarpdrive, and two other reds showing on short range d-scan. Fuck.

Inside the corridors of her unnamed ship, crew members were rushing to the escape pods as the klaxons roared and the lights dimmed. Engines were failing as her cap was being drained.

She offered up a silent prayer, hoping that at least some of them made it out before the final explosion.

Hopeless. That's what I should have named you, old girl, she muttered to herself as Triplesol's missiles tore into the hull, ripping it to shreds, delivering the final blow.

Her senses dulled for a nano second as she disconnected from the harbinger. In that moment, a thousand images flashed through her mind at once, a collage of what was happening from a hundred different perspectives. Awareness from each fighter drone deployed, from every camera lens aboard her ship, and the ones mounted from the outside all gelled together, manifesting in a fluid, linear memory of the event.

"Warp, warp, warp!" she yelled a steady cadence, hoping that her pod would maneuver through the sea of scrap metal, rolling smoke, and debris.

Blood splashed across the camera lens as she started to warp through a sludge of floating bodies, unfortunate crew members who hadn't made it to the escape pods.

"I'm sorry..." she whispered, feeling a tightness in the pit of her stomach.

Later, inside her hangar in the 24th station of Huola, she reviewed the recorded footage of what had happened. Mostly a small gang of Ice Fire Warriors, including LP McDuffs and Rothgr Bronn with a few others she vaguely recognized had taken her down with ease.

"Goddammit," she uttered as she killed the video, sitting in the dim light, absently biting on her dog tags.

She tried not to think of the countless crew members that had been lost out of her sheer negligence.

Her reverie was interrupted by light flashing inside the room as an explosion lit up the hazy blue sky outside the station. Her gaze drifted to the floor-to-ceiling glass wall in time to see the scattered remains of a frigate drifting just before it was salvaged.

"Dumb bastard," she rolled her eyes. No doubt Heretic's Army sniper pilot, Lukka, was on the hunt again. When he'd first arrived on the scene weeks ago, she'd spent a fair amount of time trying to catch him. When that failed, she'd resorted to camping her own station to keep him from harming other pilots who naively thought they were safe in a frigate or pod.

Others had joined her from time to time in 'guarding the station', but after so long she'd given up and spent her time back on the war front, hoping that the 24th would have learned by now.

Obviously not.

Her crew chief commed her, "Lukka's on the prowl again. I'd suggest delaying your trip to Amarr."

"Yeah, okay," she answered as she paced over to the glass, "I'll make a run early morning, hopefully things will be settled down by then."

"The war goes live in less than twenty hours, just as long as you do it before then."

"Yup, understood." She flicked the comm off as she leaned against the glass, watching the sky as a handful of battlecruisers landed within the station's docking range, one of them Zverofaust.

Her nose wrinkled as a look of distaste etched her delicate face.

Zverofaust. The bane of the Amarr Militia. A former Minmatar freedom fighter, the turncoat had switched sides no doubt to spread discord among the Amarrians. Within months of his joining LOCUS, he had managed to convince them to wardec at least six loyalist corps.

The Knighthood's turn had come, of course.

She was certain it was because of her.

At first he had tried to be charming though she never really trusted him. Once she'd learned of his true nature, his declarations of love and adoration turned to public scorn in an attempt to humiliate her.

He would stop at nothing, say anything just for her attention in any way he could get it.

His love-hate obsession for her was disturbing. He would deliberately try to provoke her or anyone who was remotely close with her.

She'd encountered strange pilots before but he had to be one of the worst. As disgusting as Torus Nunn from the 8th order was, who claimed to rape her corpse, she'd rather be locked in a room with him for a week than spend one minute alone with Zvero.

She shuddered.

Weeks ago, she accidentally discovered his non de plume, FW Reporter, a name he wrote under for the FW Report, a supposedly 'independent media site for all things Faction Warfare'.

"Independent, my ass." she muttered to herself.

Once he found out she knew, he tried to bully her into leaving her beloved militia. She refused and he threatened her, telling her she'd 'suffer the consequences'.

Less than two weeks later the Knighthood was declared war upon by LOCUS.

A civil war ensued.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Entry 117: God's Will

She walked along the catwalk of her hangar in Kourmonen, watching as her crew readied her newest Abaddoned class battleship, the Beautiful Dangerous.

Already tuned in to the militia and various other intel channels, she listened as the Amarr started to rally to engage a roaming fleet of Minmatar.

Half of the fleet was several systems away and others were refitting their vessels, so she took her time getting into pod. She stretched languidly, rubbing the back of her neck as she paced along the metal grating, heading towards the pod station.

A holodrone activated with an incoming transmission. She accepted as she leaned against the railing, her blue gaze scanning across the hologram of an Amarrian.

"Greetings and Salutations Former Praetorian." He smiled.

"Greetings." She looked at him curiously, trying to place the face or voice. He knew that she'd been a praetorian, but that wasn't exactly a secret. Any pod pilot could access her public file.

"Do you have a few moments to speak, or do other matters require your attention?" He asked.

"I can speak," she replied as she checked his public file.

"Allow me to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Milan Skrlec." He rolled his r's.

"A pleasure. Shalee Lianne." But obviously you already know that.

"No rank or title Ms. Lianne?"

"Commodore."

"Ja. Commodore. I knew you would go far, I just always thought it'd be with PIE. However, I am glad that your path has been ordained to travel contrary to my expectations."

"You know of me because...?"

"Because I mentored you in PIE. Before I went underground with the Jovians... and before they stuck me in this... new body." He smiled.

"Michael?!" Her face lit up as she started towards him, as if to hug him. She stopped short, dropping her arms to her side.

"In the flesh... so to speak."

"Oh god, it's been so long. How are you?"

"Quite well. Given that I'm someone else now. I hear that my old body was sold off to someone and they're spending a wonderful amount of time in low sec mining the hell out of veldspar. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to afford a brain with better skills... so I get to start my career and life from scratch."

"Mining? How dull."

"A body wired for combat and he decides to prance about asteroids."

She continued to grin, "I am so happy to hear from you! I've thought about you often."

"Have you really?" He blushed. "I have to admit the same."

"I have, of course. I can't believe this...I thought you were dead."

"So did I. I've learned alot about faith.... about death. About many things. But surely that's rather dull. I'm going to guess that you left PIE because of Faith. And since we can't die that's also a pointless topic. I actually contacted you for several reasons."

"Tell me."

"One. I know you. You're safe and I can speak with you about anything. Two: You have a bounty on your head. Three: I and another wish to join you in having bounties on our heads as well." He smiled again.

"Ours?" she questioned.

"A friend, he just graduated the Academy today. His name is Monamarth."

"You're coming back to the warfront?" she asked, pleased by the thought of having him near once again.

"Depends on which war we're fighting. Amarr and Minnies?"

"But of course."

"I hear that you're a very influential person in your Corporation. I don't want to muddy your dress so to speak." he said.

"I don't know what you know of us, really. We are small. But yes. A Director. It's just Aldrith Shutaq and I who run things."

"Aldrith!? That old rat!" He laughed, "Wonderful news! It's just the two of you?"

"That run things, yes."

"Will you admit those who are not Amarr?"

She nodded, "Yes, of course."

"I graduated the university two days ago, he just today. Our skills are nowhere near what's needed for the fight."

"That doesn't matter. We would love to have you."

"I would be honoured to join again."

"How exciting. This is such wonderful news. Just send in an application, have your friend do the same."

"Where are your offices?"

"Huola, and Amarr. Though these new pod interfaces allow you to join from anywhere."

"I admit, I don't recall many things. I remember teaching classes to new recruits the basics of space combat... but I don't recall the material. I can't remember much of the interfaces, much of fighting in space.... I've been away too long."

"Then it is I who will be your mentor. Fitting, I think."

"Agreed."

"I'm going to speak with my friend and make sure that this fits in with our long term plans."

"You know. I remember those days, coming out of the Academy. It was daunting." she said.

"Especially more-so now. There's much more to take in all at once." he agreed.

"Let him know I will be sympathetic to that and will work with him personaly if he should like."

Milan seemed distracted for a moment, "I see that your dossier has become rather interesting. You're friends with Verone?"

"Yes...I am friends with him." She frowned suddenly, "Or something like that. It's complicated. Anyhow I have to cut this short, I'm needed out on the front. I would very much love to see you, do come to Mercy's Keep on Amarr, we will catch up soon."

She killed the connection as she headed inside the medical lab to be readied for her pod. Jonathon, her chief pod technician, gave her a curious look.

"Something bothering you Commodore?"

She shook her head, "Not really... just an omnious feeling." She threaded her fingers through her hair, taking a calming breath. "I need to shake this off, I can't go into battle feeling like this. Too many lives are at stake."

He gave her a reassuring smile as he started to connect her to her pod, "God's will be done."

She nodded as she felt the ambiotic fluid filling her pod. Her senses heightened, awareness tingling throughout her body as she became suspended in liquid, her consciousness melding with the electronics of the ship.

Over comms, Eran had given the order to undock.

The abaddon eased into the darkness of space.

Twenty minutes later an explosion lit the Auga stargate as the battleship was ripped into a thousand pieces. Six thousand crew members dead.

God's will be done.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Entry 116: Blood Moon

Powder blue silk fabric wrapped around her torso and fell in soft folds to her ankles. Her shoulders were bare save for the loose, pearl encrusted straps that drooped against her upper arms. Her long hair had been curled and pinned up with matching pearl and diamond clips.

Around her neck she wore a necklace that cost more than the slicer's she flew.

A soft, warm breeze ruffled the hem of her dress as she crossed the walkway, moving towards the steps of the Imperial Opera House.

A thrill of excitment coursed through her as she glanced about, searching the crush of people who were lingering about, dressed in an assortment of silks and satins, jeweled, powdered and perfumed.

Gods she loved the Opera.

She'd always been seduced by the atmosphere, the elegance, the beauty of it all. And then there was the show itself, the music, the scenery, the stories.

It was rapture, it was bliss.

And tonight's performance would be especially intriguing because she hadn't a clue who invited her. Earlier, she'd received an invitation along with the dress and jewels, her ticket and directions.

She ventured several guesses though none seem to quite fit. Raphael had taken her to the opera once long ago but the last time she'd spoken with him, he'd made it clear that he pretty much loathed her. She mentally crossed him off the list, then considered Eran. He would be the type to suprise her but she doubted he would feel comfortable among the imperial nobles.

A whirlwind of silky colors bled together as the breeze picked up again. Laughter and conversation filled the night time air as everyone waited for the doors to be opened.

She thought of her friends who might have invited her. Aldrith perhaps. No doubt he'd enjoy the finery and music as much as she would, but he wouldn't send her costly jewels or make such a mystery of things.

Strolling around, she searched the crowd, trying to find the one who invited her. Other names crossed her mind but they didn't quite fit either. Alexander perhaps? Though they were becoming such good friends, it didn't make sense for him to send her jewels either. Predator maybe. He'd spent enough on her over the past few months that a few diamonds wouldn't be out of place. However, she wasn't certain he would be the type to enjoy an opera.

She shook her head no to him, then thought of others.

Invelious, maybe. She could easily imagine that this would be his type of scene. Imperial, rich, cultured. He would be in his element here. And he was fond of mystery, intrigue, and beautiful things. Just as she decided it must be him, she frowned, remembering he was off in null sec.

Sighing to herself, she let her thoughts settle on Verone for a moment. He certainly could afford it, and would be the type to throw isk around on jewels and clothes...but would he come to Empire? If he did, it would be to prove a point.

Perhaps he wanted to apologize, really apologize for the things they had fought over.

Just as she had settled upon Verone, a hand wrapped around her arm.

She turned, expecting to see the overly tall gallentean, "Apology accep-" she gasped. "Kathetel..."

"Expecting someone else?" The Imperial Agent smirked to her.

"Any one but you," she said dryly as she attempted to jerk her arm away.

His dark eyes lit with warning as he kept his fingers wrapped firmly around her arm. "Smile and look enormously pleased to see me," he whispered as he lead her through the crowd.

Once they stepped through the opened doors, the house lights flickered several times, warning the patrons they had but ten minutes to find their seats.

He guided her to a private alcove, leaning over to whisper against her ear, "You've been assigned a new mission."

"What? No. I don't work for you!"

He squeezed her arm, "Calm down," he warned. "This is one assignment I think you'll enjoy."

She looked at him skeptically. "Go on," she whispered with reservation.

"Your Father has escaped. We assume he will eventually find his way to your brother, Keon."

Her Father, once a wealthy holder and distinguished member at the royal court had openly defied the Empress's proclamation of emancipation. He had made his fortune upon slave trade and would suffer from the decree.

He was arrested on charges of treason and heresy plus countless other minor charges. Being of noble birth saved his life though he would spend his remaining days in prison.

She paled from the news. "I don't know why you're telling me this...I left that life behind. I don't even know where Keon is...they are all but dead to me. You should know that...so I don't know what I could even do."

"Easy, really. Your task will be simple. You will seek out your brother and make amends, gain his trust, and when your Father shows up, we will handle the messy details." He winked at her, "That is, unless you'd rather do it yourself. I remember how you enjoyed Hadrien..."

Hadrien. Her youngest brother. The memory hit her suddenly. Blood everywhere, drenching her pale white hands, rolling down her wrists, splattered against her face. Standing in a pool of it, his lifeless body sliced into a hundred pieces or more.

She closed her eyes, feeling faint.

He slid an arm around her waist to steady her, "Come now, enough of that. You kill thousands every day, don't get hung up over one little death." He looked at her sharply, "Straighten up now, we've an opera to see. Blood Moon. I thought it fitting..." He suddenly smirked.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Entry 115: Rushing Anka

Intel had been reported by Admiral Mitara Newell just as their small fleet of seven or eight pilots jumped the star gate, making their way towards Minmatar space.

A military complex had been scanned down in the system of Anka and currently was being fought for by General Sassawong of the Tribal Liberation Force.

"Eran, do you think we can make it?" she asked as she noted the time. It would be a close call.

"We will try," he told her then gave orders to the fleet to backtrack the four jumps back to Huola to reship in something smaller, anything that could activate the accel gate to get inside of the complex.

Minutes bled away as they made it to the 24th station and reshipped, though now they faced another four jumps to Anka.

"Burn best speed, hold on the accel gate."

Two minutes remained on the clock as the small fleet warped in. Sassawong was forced to retreat.

Though there had been a minor skirmish on the star gate as one of the late comers of the fleet was engaged and shot down, the complex was held by Amarr.

Four ships had been lost in the process, but it was a small price to pay to keep control of the system.

Anka was precariously close to falling. Every complex mattered.

***

The Keep was eerily quiet as Shalee made her way to the training room just before sunrise. She had been restless, unable to sleep, and wanted to work off some of her frustration.

As she stopped at the entrance, she could hear the familiar voice of the holographic instructor, Mikuela. With her curiosity piqued, she stepped into the room and watched as a Jacke Incarnate thrust his epee towards a holographic foe. Mikuela paced around him, giving critique on his stance.

As if sensing her presence, Jacke remotely froze the holographic instruction as he turned around to face her.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you..." Shalee apologized.

"No one ever comes here at this hour," he said.

"I couldn't sleep." She moved over to a bench and dropped her workout bag. "You're...Jacke?" she asked, only vaguely remembering the boy, having little contact with the children of the Keep.

He looked at her with a steady gaze, "Yes. Jacke Incarnate."

"Right, of course." She felt uneasy without understand why. "So...you train every morning?"

"I do. I will have to be in the best physical condition if I want to get into the Navy."

"You're going to join the Navy?"

"When I am older, yes," he said with unquestionable confidence. "And then Capsuleer training after that. I want to be a fighter pilot."

"Well that is really admirable. We can always use more loyal pilots," she smiled.

"You need more people you can trust," he said eerily.

Her brow quirked, "That's an odd thing to say...especially from one your age."

"I'm almost eleven."

She stared at the Brutor boy who was already taller than she was. "Enjoy being a kid. Too soon you'll be an adult and wishing you were still young."

"But I'm not a kid."

"You're not an adult either," she responded in an argumentative tone, briefly wondering why she was even bothering to quarrel with a child.

"But I will be, soon," he said matter of factly.

"Yes, well soon isn't now."

"No, it is not," he said reasonably. "But still. You need people you can trust, people who wont betray you. That will be me." He poked his thumb towards his chest.

She lifted her brows again, "Oh is that a fact? How do you think you know so much about me anyhow?"

He gave a shrug. "People talk, I listen."

"Yeah well, you probably shouldn't believe everything you hear."

He turned his back to her as he swung his epee from left to right, slicing through an imaginary enemy. "I don't. But..."

"But?"

"Everyone knows about Zenton."

She sighed, "Right, of course. Everyone knows just how much of a fool I was to trust a man I loved, once." She picked up her bag and slung it over her shoulder as she headed for the door, having lost her mood to do anything. "See ya, kid."

He smirked as he looked over his shoulder, watching her disappear before he resumed his training.

Half an hour later, he jerked around as he heard one of the holo-drones activate. The image of a little girl appeared, smiling a dimpled grin, "Jacke!"

"Hey kid," he said as he smiled in return to the red-headed little girl.

She rolled her eyes, "You shouldn't provoke her, she is sad right now."

"Sad? Why?"

"Because something bad happened with Predator."

"What happened?"

She put her hands on her hips as she started to speak, "He made her mad because he was in Huola and they were sitting outside the big space station...it was her and Eran and Sabotage and CF Proctor." She nodded matter of factly as she told her tale, "And then two other space ships showed up! And they were part of Pred's new corporation. And Pred told them on comms that if there was a fight he was going to rep his corp friends!"

Jacke looked at her oddly, "Rep?"

"Repair their ship," she explained patiently, "With the big swirly lights!" She swayed her hands around.

"Oh, okay."

"So then, the bad guy shot at CF, and Pred did rep him, but he repped CF too. But it made everyone angry," she sighed a frustrated little sound.

"She doesn't trust him anymore?"

The little girl shrugged. "She doesn't know what to think. He's helped her a lot but...he is a pirate too."

"So she doesn't trust pirates?"

"Well..." her voice took on a higher pitched sound. "Not really, 'cept maybe one or two." She thought of Verone. "She knows Pred wont hurt her...but he's not the same person he was to her before."

"Well really, who is?" he asked seriously.

She grinned again, "Good point! So do you want to come play Empire with me!" The little girl looked at him for half a second before dashing off towards the exit, knowing he would follow. "Meet you outside! The last one out is a rotten..." The holodrone blinked off as she activated somewhere else in the Keep.

"Hey no fair!" he yelled out as he took off towards exit, "Cheater!"

Down the corridor her giggling could be heard just before another holo-drone deactivated.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Entry 114: Verone

They stopped at the security checkpoint, manned by two huge Brutor Gurista guards. She glanced around nervously, looking at the bare steel walls. The room was illuminated with bright halogen lighting, giving the area a cold, clinical feeling. She shivered as she side glanced, looking to Ethan Verone as he spoke with one of the Brutors.

"Morning Jiko. Many to clean out?"

The brutor guard nodded, "Two, five, six, eight, nine, ten."

"Open her up."

Verone looked to Shalee as Jiko slid him a matte black .50 calibre pistol not too different from his own custom sidearm.

He took the gun and lead her toward the huge glass door as it opened with a hydraulic whine, ushering her into the coridoor.

She followed him in, her gaze falling upon the VETO corp crest at the far end of the hall. A feeling of nausea overwhelmed her, she wasn't sure if it was from having too much to drink at the Last Gate or the fact that she was standing in probably the most dangerous place in all of New Eden with the most savagely notorious pirate of all. Ethan Verone, CEO of the VETO corporation.

She probably shouldn't have said that she could do what he did. She had a bad habit of putting her foot in her mouth, and this time Verone wasn't about to let it go. He brought her to his interrogation cells as if to prove to her otherwise.

Apprehensively she stepped closer to him as he started to explain the set up.

"These are our cells, the ten to the left are holding cells, the ten to the right are interrogation suites... you're more than likely not going to like what you see."

Shalee glanced down to the gun then to Verone questionably, a feeling of dread coiling in her stomach. "I'll be fine." she whispered soberly.

Verone headed to the first door on the left, tapping in a long code to the lock, before the deadbolts fired open. "This guy is an Angel Cartel informant. We found he was working against us in our staff for over six months, feeding intel back to Curse."

He slid the heavy door open. The room was empty save for a heavily built Civire resting in the far corner, huddled against the wall. He was badly bloodied, the fingers and thumb of his right hand missing, his whole frame battered and bruised.

"I see," she said blandly, trying to keep her composure as she glanced into the room, her dark blue gaze locking on the Civire.

"We pulled him in, and he's given us valuable intelligence, to counter the surveillance that the Cartel has had on us. He'll probably die in this room of blood loss at some point, when we remove a few more body parts."

Sighing, he resealed the door. He moved to the second door and tapped in an entirely different code, clearly from memory as if he knew the place well.

"You think this is supposed to frighten me or shock me? I'm in a war Ethan, I know what happens to traitors."

He opened the second door without replying to her. A wiry framed Intaki sat in the center of the floor, in much the same condition as the Civire was, missing toes, fingers, and an eyeball that looked to have been crushed by concussion.

"This guy, worked as a crewman for one of our pilots for three years. He was finally rumbled trying to swap a vial of strong exile combat booster out for hydrogen chloride. It would have killed our pilot, and rendered his neural burn useless."

He leveled the pistol with the Intaki and squeezed off a round with a loud crack, the weapon kicking, and lighting up the room in an orange flash for a second as the Intaki's skull opened up across the floor.

Shalee stared at the man for a long moment, her gaze locking with his just before Verone killed him. She gasped in horror, not expecting the sudden violence.

Verone closed the door, the light above it turning from red to green as he tapped at the lock control.

Shalee offered up a silent prayer as the door closed and forced herself to follow after him, her eyes wide with shock, walking as if in a daze.

He shrugged as he passed by rooms three and four, "You don't want to see those."

He stopped at the fifth door and opened it in the same manner. The occupant, a young Brutor, no older than eighteen was sprawled out, breathing shallow as Ethan spoke to him, "Look at me."

Verone smiled and spoke quietly as the Brutor looked up to him, "Good boy. It's over now, thank you for your help." He squeezed a round off without hesitating, dreadlocks flicking around as the Brutor's head snapped back, flesh and sinew spraying the floor. He closed the door, the light above the door turning green.

"This is what I have to do, to protect my people." He seemed a little distant, removed. "The militias... they're a walk in the part. You shoot from a distance. You see a battleship explode in space, and don't really concern yourself that you just killed six thousand people. You just try and catch the pod. This? This is something else."

She glanced up to the green light, her eyes rimmed in red from crying, silent tears trickling down her cheeks. "You think I couldn't do this to protect those that I love?"

"I don't do this to protect people I love. I do this because it's what has to be done, it safeguards my business, and I get paid to do it, it's as simple as that."

"Understand, Shalee. This isn't a place you want to be," he sighed quietly.

She leaned against a door, arms folded across her chest, trying to stop trembling. "This doesn't frighten me. This? I could do this. I'VE DONE THIS." she said in a higher pitched tone, on the verge of hysteria.

"Why wont you listen to me..."

She lifted her chin belligerently, "Because..." Tears streaked her cheeks. Because you don't know the things I am capable of either. You don't know the things I've done, the things I could do again if I had to. She squeezed her eyes closed as she sniffled, a look of misery flashing across her face as she realized she couldn't shut out the cold brutality of what she'd just seen. Yes, she had done things in the past, horrible unforgivable things. But she had chosen not to be that person anymore. When given a choice in her life, she couldn't do those things. And he knew it, he must have known all along and that was why he brought her here, to make her realize the truth of who she really was.

...and who he was.

She blinked open her eyes as she felt his thumbs swiping across her cheeks, wiping away her tears. "Let's get out of here...I hate this place."