Joined: 08 Mar 2006
|Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:39 pm Post subject: Unexpected
|Wrote this about a week ago, figured I may as well post it up.
She gazed down at the microphones beneath her for just a moment between questions, leaning against the stand, weight on her hands, wondering how she’d ended up here.
“Are you really qualified to lead a fleet of this size?” The voice came from somewhere among the small crowd ahead of her, one question among Jita knows how many, but one she heard. Despite this, her focus didn’t shift from the microphones.
It came again.
“Ms. Li? Do you really feel that as a CEO you’re qualified to lead such an important and large scale assault?”
This time she did look up, finding herself glaring through thin-rimmed glasses at a tall, well groomed Deteis man.
“I have been leading capsuleer strike teams much longer than I’ve been a CEO, and being a CEO has never prevented me from doing so. I may not be well accustomed to leading operations on this scale, but I don’t think anyone is truly qualified for what we’ve been tasked with, certainly no-one loyal to our people.”
The next voice came from a much shorter Achur woman.
“There’ve been reports of you making disparaging comments in regards to Tibus Heth, are you willing to clarify your stance on the man giving you orders?”
It took every ounce of Yuki’s strength to prevent her from rolling her eyes.
“I think there’s far too much at stake for my opinion of Heth to be of any importance at all.”
Now she was fighting a smirk as her refusal to deny her disapproval of the Caldari leader sent the press before her into frenzy, all trying to shout their questions over each other.
“No more questions.”
Yuki Li turned away from the mic stand and strode through the curtains behind.
A Raven class battleship no more than ten kilometres from her Chimera disappeared with a blinding flash that was connected to the enemy fleet by dozens of bright beams of light. Both the beams and the flash faded, leaving behind a blackened mess of scorched metal. The same was happening all over the battlefield, spiked behemoths accompanied by ships of all race and size were tearing holes through the centre of the Caldari fleet.
The fighter wing she commanded were all intact and the left wing of her fleet had made headway with her orders to close range on the weakest flank of the advancing Sansha fleet. Once they were close enough she had a division of Torpedo battleships waiting to enter the field, they would break that flank with ease and close in on the core of the enemy formation. It wasn’t large enough to do this alone, which is why the left division of her fleet was to both act as entry and then accompaniment for their cavalry run.
This happened exactly as planned, the close range Navy Issue Ravens dropped battleship after battleship, support co-ordinating target painters to ensure every torpedo scored a clean hit.
What she couldn’t understand as she watched her orders unfold before her, was why the number of Sansha ships didn’t seem to be decreasing, in fact they seemed to be growing in number with each passing second.
She only had a moment to consider this however, as alarms burst in to life all over her ship. Bringing up the internal control interface for the Chimera felt like a gut punch. There was no damage to the ship; they were alarms to alert her of a boarding party, and with no external breaching that meant whatever hostile forces were on board her Carrier had been there when they launched.
Moments later the alarm warning of an attack on the bridge was blinking, moments after that her executive officer’s life signs flat-lined.
If they had control of the bridge they had the run of the ship, if that was the case, it was only a matter of time before they started taking control of systems away from her capsule, she considered.
Scuttle her, scuttle the fucking ship.
The engines went dark.
She brought up the self destruct cycle as quickly as she could, and told her capsule to eject.
It didn’t budge.
She tried to open communications to the rest of the fleet to warn them that her Carrier ‘Anemone’, had fallen, that she’d begun the self-destruct cycle and was unable to eject and to assign fleet command to the most capable of those still fighting.
But no-one was fighting. She’d been so pre-occupied with her own ship she hadn’t been paying attention to her external camera.
No laser or missile fire was being exchanged; an entire Caldari fleet hung in limbo as the Sansha moved by.
All attempts to communicate failed.
Her camera drone docked and deactivated, leaving her in the dark with nothing but the ability to watch the internal UI as each alarm deactivated in turn, a sign that the ship was certainly lost and under enemy control.
She watched the self-destruct reach the end of its cycle, bracing herself for the embrace of a clone vat.
00:03, 00:02, 00:01, 00:00, 00:00, 00:00, --:--.
Well, nothing apart from the sound of something tapping on the outside of her capsule, someone trying to get in, trying to get to her.
It seemed to get louder with every tap, louder and louder until she thought her head would burst. She wished it would, wished she could wake up somewhere else and find out what the fuck had happened, anything but this crippling sound that wouldn’t even let her think.
Then there was a deafening crack.
Yuki Li hit the floor with a thud landing next to what was left of her alarm clock. The once elegant holographic clock’s base had shattered in to more than a few pieces and lay a few inches away from the clumsy pile of bed sheets and limbs that called itself the CEO of Omerta Syndicate.
She pushed herself up and sat against the – fortunately – low bed still wrapped in white sheet, and swept some locks of dark hair from her face to behind her ear.
She wondered what exactly her brain was up to, putting her through dreams like the one that’d seemingly just killed her alarm clock. She hadn’t given the Sansha anywhere near as much thought or worry as she’d have considered necessary for such a vivid nightmare to occur.
Yuki stood up, smirking to herself at the idea of her of all people being requested to lead a Caldari State fleet, and then padded barefoot towards her study still trailing the sheet that she was haphazardly wrapped in. She needed to see what she’d missed, and find out what time it was.
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