Joined: 27 Apr 2007
|Posted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:24 pm Post subject: Joining Omerta
|Just thought I'd post the two pieces of fiction that prelude my entry into Omerta. They are posted in Chatsubo as well, but for anyone that missed them:
Kostantin looked at his hand. A myriad of red crimson could be seen on it and Kostantin knew that something hadn't gone quite right. He coughed again and the dots were joined by a myriad more. Wiping the blood off onto his tunic, he tried to keep his face straight. The last cloning must have failed somehow and that in itself was not usual, but it reminded Kostantin of what he had become. Now that he was a capsuleer, he had sacrificed his soul for the greater good of the Empire, but this didn't help to qualm the doubts he held. Looking at himself in the mirror, Kostantin noticed a tiny rivulet of blood flowing from the corner of his mouth and quickly he wiped it clean. He had to appear strong, capable and resolute to his crew. Slowly, he pulled his simple, brown hood over his head and proceeded out of his quarters. The corridors of the TES Harvest Reaper were wide, with long arches. As Kostantin descended past the ornate columns of the ship, each etched with glorious images of conquest, the engineers and officers and countless crewmen all stopped their chores and stood to attention, saluting him as he passed. Kostantin, in return merely nodded to them, but even that was enough to make the crew feel honoured. Everyone aboard the ship was of Ni-Kunni descent and every single one of them had proclaimed their unanswering faith in God. Like Kostantin, they would work for God, fight for God and ultimately die for God.
The reason why Kostantin only chose Ni-Kunni was that it didn't feel right for him to command Amarr within his ship, although enough of the commoners were more than willing to serve. No matter his power, abilities or fame, Kostantin was still a Ni-Kunni. He couldn't escape that and to command over one of the chosen of God did not feel right in Kostantin's mind. The senior officers of the Harbinger-class battlecruiser were hand picked by him, chosen both for their skill in leadership and their faith in God. Subordinates were then chosen by the senior officers, each according to a list of criteria which he had personally written. It was rare for most of the crew, besides the senior officers, to actually see Kostantin in the flesh, but sporadically sermons were held for the crew and although attendance was not compulsory, almost the entire crew would attend. Within the bowels of the ship was what Kostantin liked to refer to as "the spiritual heart" of the ship. A large church and the principal place of worship within the ship was an important part of the spiritual health of the crew. Although most Amarr ships had such space to pray and worship, Kostantin's had been modified and crafted to his own specification and the result had been a veritable tribute to the majesty of the Lord.
While making his way to the church, Kostantin met his second in command, a Ni-Kunni woman called Ellet Hamiahoor. Kostantin had met her while undertaking missions for the Ministry of Internal Order in the Nahyeen system. She was the sister of a Ministry agent by the name of Mahtennita Hamiahoor and he had met her in the station chapel while resting after a difficult mission. Kostantin had been immediately struck by her faith in the Lord. Much like Kostantin, she had attempted to enter the Academy in order to become a capsuleer and although she had proved capable, she had narrowly missed the top grades necessary in order to enter the capsuleer community. After much discussion. Kostantin had offered her a job within one of his ships and she quickly accepted the offer to work as a junior officer aboard the Harvest Reaper. After action against Minmatar terrorists, Kostantin had finally promoted her to second officer and for now she had proven herself more than capable.
"Captain Mort, the crew has assembled as per your orders."
Kostantin nodded in reply and both of them passed through the door that lead to the wide balcony that overlooked the large, cavernous church. And cavernous it was. The outer walls of the church were circular and impressively carved with large depiction of various saints of Amarr, some of them standing proud while other were intent in slaying savage beasts. Although a few murmurs could be heard now and again, mostly the congregation kept quiet. Stepping up to the pedestal, Kostantin could feel his heart beating, due to both a mixture of excitement and of pride. Pride at the fact that so many had come to hear his words.
And once again, Kostantin talked of God. He talked of duty and devotion and sacrifice. He talked about why their fight was just and righteous and why the enemies of the Lord would eventually be defeated. And once again, it was like electricity filled the air as his words drove inside the hearts of each and every Ni-Kunni aboard the ship. And once the sermon was finished, a cheer rose and the crew screamed "Amarr Victor"! And for a few rare moments, Kostantin smiled and joy filled his heart, for the raw, visceral faith that his crew showed was a sight to behold. After one final, long cry of faith, Kostantin once again entered the long corridors of the ship. And once out of sight, Kostantin was unable to keep it back anymore and started coughing blood and the fit did not seem to stop. Ellet, worried about the health of her Captain, approached the Ni-Kunni.
"It's alright, Officer Hamiahoor. Just a bad clone," said Kostantin to her as his coughing fit slowly started to wither. Without even noticing, Kostantin had been keeping himself up with the help of a column and now he almost felt too weak to make himself stand upright again. Ellet approached him and after helping him stand upright, she helped him to his quarters.
"No, no. Bring me to the pod..."
Nodding in acknowledgement, Ellet started helping Kostantin to the heart of the ship and after a few minutes Kostantin felt strong enough to walk on his own. Once again he approached the reason for his being, the pod that was both a curse and a blessing in Kostantin's eyes. Ellet, wishing to trouble her captain no longer than necessary, bowed out of the preparation room while Kostantin got undressed and descended within the liquid confines of his pod. Automatically, the various tendrils within it attached themselves to his implant ports. Kostantin closed his eyes and as he opened them, he once again saw the stars.
The inside of the Malediction was just as dark as the hull of the ship. Hamiahoor stepped inside and as she did, sensors inside the ship turned on the lights automatically. It was almost like the entire corridor was set alight in a single instant and although she was blinded at first, slowly her eyes adjusted.
"Come to the pod, Officer Hamiahoor."
It wasn't surprising that Kostantin had already been aware of her presence inside and quickly she started making her way towards the only thing that controlled the ship. Although most capsuleer ships still required a crew, small interceptors such as the Malediction hardly required it anymore. Everything had been automated and even basic repairs were conducted by automated nano-bots. It was almost like a ghost ship, working completely autonomously except for the presence of the pod pilot cacooned right in the middle of the ship. As Hamiahoor passed corridor after corridor, the lights behind her quickly dimmed again, creating an island of light.
It didn't take long for her to arrive at her destination and after passing through the prep-chamber, she started walking down the gangway that lead towards the pod. It was strange that Kostantin was still within the capsule, since he usually liked to exit the pod before anyone arrived. It was probable that he had just been kept inside in order to finish on some last minute repairs or system checks. Hamiahoor patiently waited beside the pod, hoping that Kostantin would be done soon.
After ten minutes, Kostantin was still inside. Hamiahoor decided to check the console beside the pod. It was pretty improbable that anything had gone wrong, but she had a gut feeling that something wasn't quite right. The procedure to open the pod had already been started and the pod had already been evacuated of the protective liquid goo. Something was definitely wrong. She quickly entered the override code and slowly the cocoon started to open. She waited until it was fully open, before stepping inside.
Captain Mort had collapsed on the bottom of the pod. A pool of blood had formed near his mouth and he was perfectly still. Hamiahoor quickly checked his breathing. Death outside the pod was much more dangerous for a capsuleer than when he was strapped inside it, since it was hard for the software to pinpoint the exact time of death. Within the pod, it was easy to do so, since as soon as the outer protective armour was breached, the capsuleer would clone jump. Fortunately, the Captain was still breathing, although very slowly. Hamiahoor called the station emergency team.
"What happened to him?"
"Well, Officer Hamiahoor, the situation is complex. Captain Mort seems to be losing most of his physical functions. The muscles in his legs are undertaking atrophy and he has already lost the use of them. The condition seems to be spreading and we expect that he will soon lose use of his major organs in a few days. Eventually, he will be unable to move, breath, eat or speak," responded the doctor. Hamiahoor could see Kostantin through a window. He was resting on a small medical bed, tubes and wires attached to his body, feeding him, allowing him to breath and also monitoring his vital signs.
"Have you attempted to clone him?," she asked.
"Yes, and his condition degenerated rapidly. We still don't understand how this process works. We...well...just don't have the expertise."