Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Private Recording File Two
Mehatoor VI - 24th Imperial Crusade Logistic Support
A recording drone hovered slightly above Shalee as she waited in her personal hangar in the Mehatoor station. Though the fleet was still forming, she had plenty of time to kill before she had to board her Harbinger. She sat outside of her pod wearing a form-fitting pod suit that molded to her skin. Her hair hung loosely about her shoulders, falling in soft curls down her back. The familiar calming voice of Fleet Commander Arsia Elkin flowed through her implants in one of the many channels that she was monitoring. Shalee flicked her gaze down the fleet list noting that they were mostly LUMEN pilots with a couple of others that she recognized from elsewhere. Kyle Saltz's name stood out to her. CVA. She would have never imagined a day that she'd be in the same fleet with their ilk, especially since they had once set her red for attacking a neutral warship in her warzone. Their policies were maddening at times. But, she had met Kyle once and despite his CVA affiliation, she thought that he was rather nice, all things considered.
She absently twisted her fingers through her long hair, "Record."
She silenced her comms channel and every other digital transmission that flowed in steady streams through her implants.
"Right. So where were we? Remembering the past and recording a digital diary in case something else should happen to my memories, I think. Okay. So. The Imposter. I still don't know who is behind my clone theft. All I know is that the Imposter stole my life for nearly two years, at least... and I still don't know their motives."
"After I was resurrected in a backup clone, I spent a lot of time in hiding. It was too dangerous to live in Imperial space, especially if I had been caught. She was the 'legal' one, and I would have been considered an imposter. Funny, that. Slowly, I made contact with a few of those whom I trusted without a doubt. I contacted Thal Vadam, Reginald Sakikbara, and Tiger. Thal had once had sworn himself to my protection and my House. Reginald had been my Lord Adjutant, and Tiger... well. He had been my husband. Though the three had been aware that the Imposter wasn't really me, they knew little else. No one knew what the Imposter was up to or what her end goal might have been."
"Eventually, Vlad Cetes found me, oddly enough. It wasn't that surprising, really. He had become a near-constant in my life since my becoming a capsuleer. He even kidnapped Gia away from her father and left No Mercy simply so that I could be reunited with my daughter. Though I have never understood his motives for befriending me, he has always proven his loyalty without fail. It makes little sense, but I've learned not to question it. I know that he will protect me."
"Anyhow, Tiger, Gia, and I lived a quiet life planetside for a very long time. And then, as I mentioned in my previous recording, Gia and I left. I won't revisit that topic for now."
"I had the house built in Charmerout within the Federation and was mostly content, but there was still this part of me that wanted to know why. Why was my life stolen? Who was she? From all accounts and purposes, the Imposter simply lived my life much as I had. Sort of. Sometimes she would fly with Amarr, sometimes not. What I had noticed was how close she was connected with Reginald. Granted, Reginald was her/my Lord Adjutant, so it made sense. But another part of me always wondered if he had something to do with it. To what avail, I don't know. When you've been betrayed by the people who are supposed to love you the most, you can't help but to develop a natural skepticism. I'm wary of those closest to me, always. My entire life has been centered around people using me for their own purposes."
"Regardless. I trust Reginald. I do. He promised that he would neutralize the threat of the Imposter. Granted, I wanted answers too, but having her TCCM'ed was better than nothing. It allowed me to slip back into the role that I was born to. I was able to reclaim my Holding and rejoin Amarrian society. It wasn't an easy task to be thrust into the world of Imperial politics and intrigue once more, but with Reginald's help, the transition went relatively smooth. Also, it helped by confiding in Lunarisse, who now helps run the LUMEN alliance."
"There was a time there that I thought I might not go back. It was easy living in Charmerout. No one cared what I did or who I associated with. I was relatively free to be as I wanted, something that had always been denied to me before. Growing up a Holder's daughter, there were always expectations. The price of Imperial Nobility is a loss of certain freedoms. You're always under the eye of family, society, and the inquisition. After becoming a capsuleer, I was used as an Imperial spy, an agent thrown to the Minmatar wolves, nearly devoured, all in the name of God and Empress. But that, too, is for another recording, least I get sidetracked. Anyhow."
"Living in the Federation meant freedom, and I almost, almost had it. I could have stayed there, blissfully unaware of what turmoil was churning in the Empire. I wanted to! Oh, how desperately I wanted to. But there was one singular thing that pulled me back in, one moment of realization that spoke so deeply to my soul, of who I was at my core, that irrevocably changed the course of my life and sent me back home into the golden skies of the Amarr."
"It was this post on the IGS. In it, Samira shredded the Empire and everything it stood for. She pointed out the flaws of slavery and of blind devotion to a religion that has long lost its way. She was insightful and thought-provoking. She said that we must tear it all down and rebuild, and I agreed with almost everything that she said. But, I also knew that it would be the height of foolishness to publicly agree. The Amarrians would only counter-argue, and everyone else would make a mockery out of it."
"She has the right ideas but not the means to do anything about it. She's been branded a heretic long ago for her role in the bombing of Alar Chakaid's home Sa-Barony. She's on the outside of things, so how can she possibly bring forth any change? She simply can't. No Amarrian will listen to her, and the people who might agree with her on the IGS are merely rabble-rousers who are powerless within the golden realm."
"Only those with true power and means will bring forth change in the Amarrian Empire. It won't be an easy path, but it will be one that I shall tread, delicately so. And I can only help if I am there, in the midst of the Imperial Sphere. Thus, I returned to Huola and reclaimed my Holding and my title, Lady Cerra, for better or worse."
"Returning was harder than I thought. I had made certain friends while living among the Feds, and suddenly I knew that those friendships would be scrutinized if they should be found out about. It's a difficult line to walk but one that must be done. If the inquisitors should ever find out, I could lose everything, not just my Holding and position, but my very life."
"Two minutes until undock, let's go, let's go, people," Arsia's muted voice over comms captured her attention.
She huffed out a breath as she straightened up, rubbing her fingers absently against her clone jacks at the base of her neck. Butterflies did somersaults in the pit of her stomach, pre-fight jitters that she hadn't experienced in years. She wasn't even sure if their fleet would be engaged or if it would merely stand guard to the Amarrian Raitaru that they would be protecting... from a different Amarrian corporation. The politics in the Amarrian Militia felt like wading through muddy waters at times.
"Undock, undock, undock!"
"I'll finish this later. End recording."
The screen faded to black as the holographic image of the golden Amarrian symbol flashed into view.