Escape Velocity
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 12 - Evolution


"Once you run off to Rens and wherever else," Jake murmured in the bedroom's warm near-darkness. His breath still smelled like cake. "Do you have any idea when you'll be coming back, or have you not planned that much yet?"

Dinner had just been cake.

Earlier in the evening, before Jake had come home from work, Vieve realized her plans were changing. Had changed. Were evolving. Had -- the buzzing of the clothes cleaner had snapped her out of a humming reverie. Not a fugue. Not an absence. Just a pleasant...

She couldn't describe it.

Well, technically speaking, it had been an absence. But she had not been stressed. Rather, just the opposite.

She'd caught herself standing in the kitchen, halfway through making a list of food needed from the market for next week's meals.

It'd already been longer than the physician-recommended week. Sentiment and its crew were likely still sitting in Rens. Calliope was perhaps still sitting in FIO impound in Bereye. She hadn't commed her mother yet. Or tried contacting Jules again. Or anyone from Stimulus ... though that last realization didn't fill her with concern. There was no one in the corp she believed she could contact. It seemed likely that no one had even noticed she wasn't around.

It was, after all, more rare for her to be with them than away from them.

Vieve tossed the list and threw together a stew from the leftovers she cleaned out of the cooler. It boiled over and burned into a sticky mess on the cooker while she'd discussed her departure with Jake.

And her not wanting to leave.

And the apartment's beginning to feel like home.

He hadn't acted surprised.

This hadn't surprised her. Nor had his lack of surprise made her unhappy.

Neither had, though in a wholly different manner, waking up in bed to the revelation that Jake was capable of tying her to the headboard without waking her. Clever bastard had used the neckties she'd never seen him wear.

It was entirely too comfortable. And quite unlike being shackled to a FIO examination table.

"Do you get regular weekends off, or is it highly variable?" Vieve whispered.

"I can ... mostly be off when it suits me, though there may be periods when I don't have time to do much at all. It really depends on what comes up." Jake shrugged a little, not even enough to shift his nose tip from hers. "Whenever you can, just let me know and I'll give you a straight answer then."

"Friday?"

"I don't know what's going to happen between now and Thursday yet."

"Me either. But ... I think I would like to start sending you messages before I go to sleep." She chuckled.

"Is that so? I think you should get a new datapad, then."

"Yes, that would be required. I cannot keep borrowing them from complete strangers, can I?"

"Sounds like an expensive hobby."

"Oh, yes. I think I might have funded her university education just for a few minutes' worth of use." A sigh slipped through Vieve's lips. "I am horrible with money, sweetheart."

"I wouldn't worry too much. Take into consideration that I bought this apartment on a whim..."

"I bought a toy company on a whim."

"You own a toy company?"

"I do. Though, it is more like a substantial amount of shares in one now--" Vieve confirmed. It was CONCORD's fault, in a way, and Jules' in others. During Strix's final months in Solitude, malfunctioning infraction sensors on the Heluene gate in Anckee had flagged her and Jules as aggressors against a pirate who had attacked Absolom Hues' frigate. While the guns had not engaged, the sensors would not let them follow Absolom into Heluene.

She'd yelled at Jules to get off the gate and threw herself at the pirate.

He didn't listen to her.

She would have shot him herself if she had not been busy failing to keep her Thorax intact.

When she woke up, a full two days after she had first become conscious in her new clone, she'd learned that she'd spent a lot of interim time watching local human interest stories. One had been on a struggling Yvaeroure-based toy company called Jouets Archonelles.

Of course it made sense that she'd taken the money she would have logically, rationally, spent on replacing her Thorax and hiring a new crew and bought the company.

No one noticed she had been in fugue at the time. Of course they hadn't. No one noticed anything. No one thought to check on her.

"And it's kids' toys, not ... toys, right?"

"--yes, children's toys."

While Vieve made the murky climb back into her skin after her murder, her mother dissected her life in an attempt to find the murderer. Celeste had instead uncovered Jouets Archonelles. Found it remaining in business only because Vieve was regularly handing over monies to keep it afloat. She used her power of attorney -- which she had made damn certain to secure for herself in exchange for assisting Federal Administration in keeping news of the capsuleer murder on one of their Mormoen stations at the very same time as a mysterious illness struck their station in Dastryns quiet -- to take control of the business.

She ousted Lucan Karmer, Vieve's former aide in Strix's Human Resources Office, from the position of CEO, installed herself in the role, and acquired the Mies-based Eidolon Entertainments, a similarly sized toy company with a more robust balance sheet.

Vieve woke up holding only shares in the new Jouets D'Eidolon.

"Ah, good," Jake said.

"Remember the plush fedo I sent you?"

"Ah, yes ... that did have me wondering."

"Hmm?"

"Well, I'd never seen one before, honestly."

"Oh? Hmm. Did you have a favorite stuffed animal when you were small?"

"I didn't have much besides toy guns to be honest with you."

"Did you shoot the fedo?"

"I'm embarassed to admit I didn't." Jake had promised to. He had said he was terribly bored, being stranded in a nasty part of Republic Space like he'd been at the time. That's where Vieve had found him, when she contacted him during her own investigation of her murder.

Her calendar said they'd had dinner one night during those missing days.

She hadn't remembered a damn thing about it.

Not a thing.

After one chat had turned into another, she'd sent him a package. It was ... supremely silly. Snacks and a plush fedo dressed in a FDU uniform.

It was easy for her to do so. Stimulus was still in the Tribal Liberation Force at the time.

Why she'd done it?

It'd ... seemed right. Just like it'd later seemed right to scout for him out of that system, guiding him away from fleets that wanted him dead straight into a system populated with fleets that wanted her dead.

It could have been a trap.

It wasn't.

"Why embarassed?" she asked.

"Because I have a stuffed fedo in a Fed Uniform in my quarters on an Armageddon class battleship, that's why, honey."

"I could see about getting you another outfit for it, sweetheart."

"Oh, then I could dress it up and have tea parties with it next time I'm stuck in the back of nowhere. That would do wonders for my sanity."

"I have my plants and Constance on Sentiment. Then again, I never claimed to be sane."

"That's true. But they at least are alive. That's interaction, rather than ... well, rather than having conversations with inanimate objects, however fluffy they may be."

"It really sounds like I should bring Constance here. And perhaps encourage you to take her with you on your Armageddon."

Jake shook his head. "You can bring her here, but not on the Armageddon. I'd rather not risk that."

"I will bring her here. I think the bed is large enough."

"She'll be fine here. And so will you, whenever you're back from wherever..."

Vieve nuzzled his cheek. "I need to think," she said, echoing her words from their earlier conversation in the kitchen. They were more for her benefit than his. "And the longer I stay here, the less I want to. I will not be thinking at all about not coming back. I will be coming back. I will even put it in my calendar as soon as I get a new datapad. Just the word 'Back'." She chuckled into his ear.

Jake just nodded, and reached up to her wrists to fiddle with the mess he'd made out of his ties.

She dipped her face and started kissing his neck.
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Han Renbai
Raven


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 730
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cake is a lie! Twisted Evil
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 13 - Raison d'être

Tuomuta III – Ducia Foundry Mining Outpost
Sasen Constellation
The Bleak Lands.


It had been a strange day.

He was perched on a crate of ammunition, a cold beer in a numb hand; it was the first time this hand had held one. He simply sat there and he stared at the Harbinger class battle cruiser that dominated the hangar.

Brightdown.

He’d missed this ship, that much was undeniable, but he couldn’t decide whether it was missing the ship or... something else that had spurred him to go and collect it - maybe a strange attempt to fill the odd hole in him that he didn’t quite understand.

No, he could decide, he knew full well it wasn’t the ship he was missing; he was simply projecting his feelings towards something he could simply go and collect, in hopes that it would satisfy him.

It didn’t help that he couldn’t shake the feeling he wouldn’t have gone and collected the ship had he not exploded sometime prior, and been killed all the way to a different region, a region right next door to where the Harbinger was located.

His mind had toyed with the fact that maybe this Gallente woman, with all her surprises, had in fact become a good luck charm. While she’d been in Madirmillire he’d known he had someone to return to at the end of a day full of the bright lights of exploding spacecraft, provided he kept himself in one piece.

One day she’d been gone.

One day and the Brutix had exploded. He didn’t know how many of the crew had gotten off it alive, he was yet to ask, he was more interested in just sitting here, mulling everything over, selfish though it was.

You never needed a good luck charm before.

It was true, he hadn’t. So what had changed?

Was his mind pre-occupied, was he bothered by the fact he didn’t, today, have anything to return to?

Maybe he was just being a prima donna.

Yeah, right. The day that happens I’ll buy myself a furrier named Fairy and go join a fucking Intaki artists association. Maybe write some poetry while I’m there, about darkness and bleeding hearts.

Okay, the last one was unlikely; he couldn’t even pretend to be a prima donna, it wasn’t in him. He still failed to shake this feeling, though.

Fuck it.

He decided not to think about it.
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 14 - The Patroness of Bees

Friday -- Back.

It was there on the personal calendar inside Vieve's new datapad. She'd promised to put the appointment in as soon as she got one.

No need to. It was already there.

No need to go hunting for a new datapad either, for it was already there, too.

Then there was 'there'. There was the small desk in the tiny Captain's Quarters aboard Calliope.

Maybe it wasn't the first Calliope, but another, identical Malediction.

Jake hadn't said one way or another. Vieve'd awakened alone in the apartment to find a full cup of cold coffee and a hangar access key waiting for her on the nightstand. Calliope was downstairs in the hangar.

He also hadn't mentioned the shirt of his she'd found hanging in the quarters' wardrobe. There was no sign of the things she'd had aboard her ship when she was in Bereye, which suggested strongly that the Malediction was a replacement ... or that Jake'd done something astonishingly smart by dumping the likely compromised gear at the same time he was incredibly stupid, assuming he could fly a Malediction and assuming he'd hare off to Bereye just to bust it out of...

"No," Vieve said aloud. She slipped the shirt on, buttoned it up, and dragged her wet hair out of its collar. "He is not stupid."

The shirt was too clean to smell like him, alas, and entirely too pressed to be something he'd even thought about wearing recently. She took a seat at the desk and picked up the datapad she hadn't purchased. She intended to fly out to Rens tomorrow, assuming Stimulus didn't need her for anything. Or the Thukker station was attacked by flying furriers. Both seemed equally likely at this point, but she'd neither checked in with the corp nor inquired about the Kasrasi local weather forecast.

She turned the datapad around in her hands. It was a lovely piece of equipment: the metal bits were not quite black, and not quite silver, but an amalgam that shifted between the two colors in the light. The case fit seamlessly into the blue-tinged silicate glass viewplate. The illuminated portion of the screen was invisible from all angles but directly facing. The device did not even appear to be active from those unfavored angles.

Caldari, of course. High-end Caldari. No one in the cluster did electronics better in Vieve's opinion, and frankly, she quite often found herself preferring their subtle businesslike designs to Caille technimode, even if the froufrou was slapped on a Caldari unit. Correction, an inferior Caldari unit. With import tariffs and regulations being what they were, the good stuff had tended to stay in the State, even before the war.

This was the good stuff.

Vieve slotted her data access crystal into the unit's base.

The Stimulus logo flashed on the screen, overlaying her calendar for an instant.

She made a face at it, and settled back into her desk chair, toying with the collar of Jake's shirt with her left hand as she studied the new message notices that had begun scrolling beneath her calendar.

A ping from Maman, something light and feigning to be unconcerned that she hadn't heard from her this week. Another from Jules, ironically, saying that he was now free for the discussion that Vieve had wanted to have before she went to Bereye. Ah, irony. It is pretty damned ironic, sometimes. One from her contact at one of the Pator Tech campuses...

Oh, so that explained why she now had less than a million liquid ISK. Merde. She'd forgotten about that skill package.

She exhaled.

"Time to go to work."

But not for the Federation.

I cannot do that anymore.


Vieve shut her eyes for a single long blink, then got to work.

The very first order of business was requesting a name change for the Malediction.

Meliae. Lady Labor, Fate and Fortune's middle sister. The honey-voiced Patroness of Bees.

Perhaps She'd approve.
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 15 - The Shortest Week

Madirmillire VI –Moon 11 – Carthum Conglomerate Warehouse
Yekti Constellation
Domain


He hit the floor with a heavy thud, he was awake before the impact but it had already been too late for him to prevent himself from crashing helplessly against the carpet.

He groaned out a profanity under his breath and reached up to rub the back of his head, staring past the mess of quilt that still clung to him at the ceiling for a long moment, before his ears tuned in to the low rumble he recognised as his datapad.

The rumble wasn’t a call, when it was a call it beeped in the most irritating way possible. He had theorized that there was likely a way to change the repeating noise to something less abrasive, but he was yet to convince himself he cared about it enough to seek it out. The rumble was a reminder that he had new messages.

His hand moved down from his head and scratched at the stubble that jutted out of his cheek for a number of seconds before he finally gave in and pulled himself to his feet, balance almost evading him as he did.

There had been a number of things swimming around in his head since he’d woken and they all seemed to be the same subjects he’d been considering the night before. There was work, of course, something that seemed to prey on his mind almost every waking moment. Not that it bothered him, he enjoyed his job and thanked Jita he’d found his feet in the flying circus that space seemed to be.

Work wasn’t at the forefront of his mind though, which he couldn’t help but curse himself for just a little. What was was a date – well, a day – the day was Friday. Still, he didn’t believe his priorities were out of order, hell, he didn’t believe he’d actually prioritized anything over anything else at all. He hadn’t even thought about it.

After all, before now work was all there’d been to think about, prioritising wasn’t necessary.

Even despite the small curse, it didn’t bother him, he’d do his job as always, and Friday would arrive by itself.

He picked up the datapad as this ran through his mind, tapping at it once. The screen lit up, displaying the time in large looming numbers as though to remind him he’d spent most of the day asleep.

Not content with waiting for the datapad to go through it’s routine of displaying the time then the corporate logo before allowing him to get on with what he woke it up for in the first place, he tossed it on the bed with a disdainful glance.

He’d come back to it once it was done.


***

Tuomuta III – Ducia Foundry Mining Outpost
Sasen Constellation
The Bleak Lands.



The Crusader class interceptor limped into the station clumsily. Most of the armour had been torn from the nimble ship, and the normally golden exterior was scorched black and sporting several deep wounds. A trained eye could tell at a glance that they were from hybrid fire – Blasters specifically.

A voice chimed in inside his head.

“So that’s where you’ve been.”

Jake was still in the capsule, though he couldn’t wait to get out of the goo and explain this one to the poor bastards that had to oversee the repairs every time he brought something back on fire.

The voice he recognised as that of Yuki Li.

“What’s that supposed to mean? Where else would I be?”

“Well that’s what I was wondering, I couldn’t get in touch with you until you got into the capsule, and then you were in combat. Where the fuck is your datapad?”

“Fuck.” He paused as he realised what he’d done. “I left it at home”

“All you have to do is keep it with you; you’re less reliable than a teenage girl.”

“Look on the bright side, at least I can’t get pregnant.”

“I’d rather not consider the possibility of you reproducing, if you don’t mind. Did you check your messages?”

“No.”

“Is there any fucking point in you having a datapad at all?”

“Sorry.”

“Go and get it, I’ll get what’s left of that ship checked in for repairs.”

It bothered him slightly that this meant he would not, after all, be forced to explain to the people at the repair facility that he’d engaged an 18 ship FDU patrol by himself, shot down one of their interceptors and escaped intact, but he felt it was not worth arguing over.

“If you insist”

“I do. I’m not prepared to explain things to you that I already sent to your datapad.”

By now the Crusader Sentou Yousei was already at the docking ring, and he was ready to disembark from the battered ship.

So he did.


***

Madirmillire VI –Moon 11 – Carthum Conglomerate Warehouse
Yekti Constellation
Domain


He swung the door shut with an unexpectedly loud bang after returning to the apartment, so much so that it made him wince just a little for the moment it took for the sound to dissipate.

With that out of the way he paced to the bedroom quickly, not wishing to waste too much time for fear of having to deal with another earful.

Once he arrived the datapad was, as expected, right where he’d tossed it aside. Of course, it’d re-entered standby which meant he’d once again have to suffer being informed of the time and his employer, maybe just in case either had somehow managed to slip his mind.

He was just about ready to open the first message when the device started to beep at him.

For the second time since he’d arrived he winced as the sound pierced his brain. He didn’t check who it was before answering; he just wanted the damn beeping to end.

“Hello?”

He recognised the voice immediately. She didn’t seem pleased and explained in a handful of sentences why, before he could do much to respond. She was still in Republic space.

“Okay, Vie, fire your crew – all of them – and head for the Amarr border. Just come home.”

Friday had arrived early.
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 16 - Explosions

Rens VII, Moon 17 - Brutor Tribe Bureau
Ortner Constellation
Heimatar


Fifteen minutes earlier.


"I could have killed her, Constance," Vieve mused aloud, while she patted the wheat-and-blonde slaver hound's flanks with both hands. The happy dog hadn't yet let her get up from the floor of her quarters aboard Sentiment.

Vieve's hair still dripped from a shower. She hadn't been able to leave Kasrasi for Rens when she'd planned: as Fate had it, her presence had been noticed just in time for it to be requested as part of a grand joint operation intended to launch Stimulus' Great Wildlands campaign.

"Well, to be perfectly honest, I likely would not have been able to get off more than a few solid volleys before someone in the fleet realized I was not shooting her just because I was bored."

It had been quite grand, indeed. Even Star Fraction made an appearance, its pilots forming up alongside those who had once broken away from them to form Stimulus. However, it had not been much of an operation. When the first hour of waiting in space had ticked on toward a second, the anarchists and the assorted hooligans who'd come to join their revolutionary fleet grew restless.

Sakura Nihil decided to alleviate her boredom by making strafing runs at Meliae. Each of Vieve's defensive flicks and flips and feints away from those runs brought her closer to Jade Constantine.

Vieve'd resisted the temptation to do the Good and Right Thing ... if only the best that she could hope for was that such would endure only as long as it took Jade to climb back to consciousness in a new clone. She just wanted to get her assignment over with, get to Rens, collect Sentiment, and play with sweet Constance for a while before she got some badly needed rest. Perhaps tomorrow she'd look up that kind soul at the Imperial Armaments facility in Hurjafren who'd once offered her work. She'd not taken it at the time, not wanting to risk that she'd be asked to act against the Federation.

Times had changed.

She couldn't risk working for any of the Tribes or the RSS again either, not with their likely being willing to sell her to the FIO for the price of a cup of coffee. Life seemed cheap in the Republic -- unless one was talking about the lives of Matari held as slaves in foreign lands. Then, nothing here seemed more precious or worthy of personal sacrifice until the day that all Matari were brought to the Republic to join the struggling masses of those cheapened lives.

Stimulus, and to some extent The Star Fraction had both found the Matari government ... tolerable. Supportable, certainly, at least in Stimulus' case: though its involvement in the Tribal Liberation Force had ended a few days after Jonny's mysterious resignation. Vieve'd never become clear on the details.

Not that she'd truly cared enough to ask. Not that she'd approached any of Stimulus' officers to talk about anything. Not that it truly mattered, hmm?

"Some Fractionist I am, hmm?" Vieve smiled at the gentle dog. She'd been a gift from Jonny, one given in the hope of restoring her fondness for canines, an affection well nigh destroyed by the series of hounds her husband had guarding her. "Not one bit am I inspired by the glorious struggle to liberate people from their contented productive lives into the paradise of insecurity and wretchedness."

All of the demon hounds had been named Bow-Wow. All were trained to ignore any command she gave them. All attempted to kill any living thing that got close enough to touch her -- unless they were on Gerrard's list. Gerrard would not let her see that list.

All of the Bow-Wows had collars that recorded her every word and every move and transmitted them to Gerrard's people. Those people were trained to come find her if those transmissions stopped. Ordered to make certain a Bow-Wow was waiting for her every time she left her pod. Paid well enough for them to ensure that she damn well had a new Bow-Wow waiting for her every time she woke up in a new clone.

There was a Bow-Wow with her every single moment after her wedding day --except for a brief stay in the FedMart infirmary in Anchauttes after the Caldari Navy destroyed the Peace Jude gave her. And the few hours stolen after Trent learned that Bow-Wow had an appetite for whiskey and little tolerance for same. And then, the uncounted moments after Jonny showed her that she could be with him simply by retreating deep enough inside her head to make his tactile holoprojections seem real.

But it had not been real with Jonny after all, had it? None of it.

Except for Constance.

The hound licked Vieve's cheek, making her laugh.

"Jake is going to adore you!" She nuzzled Constance's nose, just barely evading another slurp in the process. "We will be seeing him on Friday..."

The door to the corridor flew open.

***

Remy works for the FIO.

Vieve didn't want to think about it. DID NOT WANT TO THINK ABOUT THAT in conjunction with the fact that...

"Come home, Vie," he pleaded. "Your mother and I love you, and we're worri..."

...he had walked on board Sentiment like he owned it. She hadn't gotten a comm or a knock on the door warning her that she had a visitor. That wasn't like Inez. Even Jake had an escort each time he'd set foot on board ship. Granted, they weren't supposed to look like escorts, but...

...Remy had known about her being detained in Bereye. Known that Calliope had been impounded. Known that she'd gotten off the station via Interbus. Known, somehow, that...

...that...

'It is not what you think,' she'd mumbled, when Remy'd inquired about Jake, in the dim stunned first moments when the thought she didn't want to think was occurring to her.

He didn't call him by name.

He'd called him 'that Omerta'.

Vieve didn't want to think what she was thinking. Didn't want to feel like the back of her head was flying away in chunks while the ground rushed up at her face.

Didn't want to think the thoughts that were screaming at her that the son-of-a-bitch who had hijacked her mother's affections away from Feyd gentle kind Feyd who had the bad luck and the better timing of being in Algogille on a date with her the day the Caldari invaded -- he is FIO. They promised they would leave Maman alone. Promised...

Remy hadn't batted an eyelash when she fumbled a quiet, awkward admission of that promise, and he had said...

'Come home, Vie, Your mother and I love you, and we're worri...'

"...ed about you."

Remy offered his hand.

He'd not entered Vieve's quarters completely. His posture suggested that Constance made him uneasy. Constance, of all things. Constance--

--was now silently baring her teeth. Constance, the fluffy, lazy, playful...

Vieve caught the back of the hound's collar, gently.

She wished she were home. Home, right now. Home, and not on a ship that was supposed to be hers but everyone on it listened to someone else, as if nothing had changed at all from her time within Strix. Nothing at all had changed.

Except her.

Except the dog guarding her.

Except home.

Fuck Friday.

"I am going home," Vieve snarled. "Now get the fuck off my ship."

Remy fled.


Last edited by Vieve on Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:55 am; edited 2 times in total
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Jonny Damordred
Megathong


Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(( Hope you don't mind me injecting a bit of backstory, delete if you'd like ))

System: Amarr
Location: Star Fraction alliance Hanger
Timestamp: 109.04.20 0230
Operation: Slaughterhouse

"Come here you little shit!"

Jonny Damordred reaches into a box of golden parts, all scared and melted by the rigors of combat. He removes a chip and rotates it in his hand.

"I said come here!"

With a shrug, he throws it over his sholder and is surprised to hear a soft yelp of pain in response. Turning around, he is greeted with the biggest set of brown eyes he's ever seen looking at him. Picking up the slaver hound puppy and bringing her close to him, he says "Well, aren't we adorable, little one?"

"Jonny! Give that mongrel here!" A young Matari Freecaptain walks up to the pair. "I am going to put that horrible monster down!" The monster licks Jonny's cheek.

"Why, I mean," presents the puppy to the Freecaptain, "how could you kill something so cute?"

"You don't understand what they grow up into..."

Jonny looks the puppy in the eyes and barely dodges a lick, "I know darling, I'll call you Constance."

"Jonny?"

Jonny snuggles the little flufball.

"Fuck man, I need a drink"
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Yuki Li
Leviathan


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 2366

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 17 - Sensitivity

Tuomuta III – Ducia Foundry Mining Outpost
Sasen Constellation
The Bleak Lands.


“So you finally have a lead on him. Well I have to say it’s about time; just don’t squander it like you did the last one.”

“I didn’t squander it, you know full well...” He didn’t get to finish his sentence.

“I don’t want to hear it, you’ve been working on this for a long time and I want to see some results” She wasn’t going to let him argue, she never did.

“Well I’m hardly chasing a fucking merry go round am I, it’s not as if...” He was cut off again.

“Enough, do you think I’m not aware that finding this man is difficult, or that I just choose to pretend I can’t do it myself?” She sounded almost offended. “I didn’t hire you to play happy fucking families in Domain while the fate of this Corporation is decided by a man we cannot even find when we need decisions made.”

He didn’t like that, his expression gave that much away, but he didn’t say a word.

“I need you to find him, because if we don’t even know where he is, or what he’s doing...” Her voice softened, maybe weakened was a better word for it. “...if we don’t even know what he’s doing then what the fuck are we working towards?”

He nodded but his head didn’t come back up, he kept his eyes on the ground. She tilted back in her chair and pushed her fingertips beneath her glasses to rub her eyes briefly.

“So tell me, now I have a spare minute to spend telling you how useless you are, how’s life Jake?”

He shuffled anxiously in his shiny black shoes, they were uncomfortable and he wasn’t sure he’d ever get used to wearing them.

“Aside from chasing ghosts I can’t complain.”

“What of your Fed girlfriend?”

He glanced up at her; there wasn’t any malice in her voice, as she wasn’t the type to take shots at him for his choice of partner. Worried it might make her a hypocrite, maybe.

Probably.

Not terribly sure of how to present himself, he just nodded, and muttered “good.”

“Is that all you have to say? Good?”

“Well what the fuck do you want me to say? You’re probably spying on me anyway, so you tell me.” He had taken exception, he wasn’t good at sharing sensitivity it seemed.

She just rolled her eyes.

“Believe me I don’t want to see what you do alone with a Gallente woman and I don’t need to spy on you to figure that much out. What is it you see in her, anyway?”

“She’s honest with me for one thing.” He kept his voice low.

“Are you honest with her?”

“Of course I am.”

“That right?”

“Yes.”

“Did you tell her what you do for us?”

“No”

“How about what you did to your father”

“Fuck off” He snarled.

“Thought not, not as honest as you could be, then.”

“It hasn’t come up; it’s not exactly something I make a habit of talking about over dinner.”

“I can’t imagine why not”

“Are you done? Can I fucking go now?”

“Well I suppose I’m finished with the important stuff, though I do find this interesting.”

He started to walk away without responding.

“Oh don’t run off, my questions aren’t that bad are they? I have more of them, like...”

As she paused she could tell he was mumbling something, and had no doubt it was profane. She chose to continue.

“Does she like your suit?”

“I’ll report in tomorrow” The door opened.

“Do you love her?”

He slammed the door behind him.
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 18 - Normalcy

Carthum Conglomerate Warehouse, Madirmilire VI, Moon 11
Yekti, Domain
The Amarr Empire


The night she'd returned to the apartment, Vieve had slept. Tonight? Sleep proved elusive, even after a very quiet day alone followed by Jake's coming home from work just in time for dinner, and eventually, falling asleep entangled with her. He grunted something when she gave up on sleep and got up, but did not wake. It sounded very vaguely like a threat to tie her to the bed again. Or was that a promise?

She kissed his temple, grabbed his shirt off the floor, and put it on before wandering out into the main room.

Constance, earlier banished from the bed, looked up at her hopefully from where she'd curled up outside the bedroom's open doorway.

Vieve smiled at the hound, and scritched her behind the ears. "Go on," she murmured. "Just try not to lick his ankle like that again, hmm?"

Constance failed to look offended by the suggestion. Honestly, she failed to look like she comprehended why anyone would not want to be surprised like that when they were concentrating on ... other things. She bounded into the bedroom and hopped up on the foot of the bed.

Vieve got herself a glass of milk, and opened an outgoing comm window over the kitchen counter.

As she imagined, her Maman was still awake. The CreoDron stations in Josekorn attempted to keep a working time that synchronized with the spaceport on Josekorn X, the source of the bulk of their manufacturing labor. Since Jouets D'Eidolon was a CreoDron subcontractor, Maman was also personally keeping local working time.

Celeste was also having a glass of milk. Fortunately -- in Vieve's opinion -- she was wearing a fuschia silk nightgown and dressing robe combination, rather than one of Remy's shirts.

"Still love him?"

No 'hello'. No 'how are you?' No 'when are we going to have dinner'. No, Vieve got none of that from her mother. She had almost told Jake she loved him at dinner. Almost blurted it right out. It is too soon, she reminded herself again. At best, he would just give me another blank look.

"I do," Vieve replied. "I know, after everything, it is hard to believe..."

"Hmm. A Deteis, you said?"

"Yes."

"An engineer?"

"Maybe?"

"You do not know?"

"We have yet to speak about his work in any great deta ... he ...," Vieve felt herself dimpling around her spreading smile. "He is this adorable mélange of clumsiness and competence."

"So, an engineer." Celeste smirked. "You and your hunger for engineers..." She took a healthy drink of milk, and wiped the line it left on her upper lip off with the sleeve of her robe.

Vieve lost her smile. "As if you have not been guilty of similar. And how is Feyd?"

"As if I would bloody know."

"No word, still?"

"Nothing. Remy said he flew with him some time back ... weeks ago, I think, but there was hardly any conversation."

"I doubt Remy feels he is in the position to initiate any conversations with him."

"As in you believe he feels Feyd might take the news of our engagement poorly..."

"...and arrange for something horrible to happen to the next ship he gets from the Strix stockpile."

"Bah."

"So, yes, then?"

"Quit trying to change the subject, dear. So, what happened to the anarchist? I thought for certain, after you had that falling out with Captain Kopenhagen -- ah, and he seemed like such a nice man!"

Vieve gritted her teeth.

"But it is always the nice ones who turn out to be intolerable, don't they?" Celeste continued. "You haven't answered my question yet. And I still think you should press charges against Gerr..."

"Which question?" Vieve snapped.

"Anarchist."

"Gone."

"What?"

"Gone."

"After he convinced you to..."

"Yes."

"Why? Didn't he get what he wanted?"

Vieve shrugged. "Maybe that was the very reason. He did, he was not expecting to, and faced with the prospect of not fighting me any more over it, he went to find something else to fight." Or he murdered me, but I am not about to suggest that to Maman. She would try very hard to make him disappear.

Or maybe she already came to that conclusion.

"And you are not upset."

"I am not upset."

Did she?

"Vie..."

"I did not choose him, Maman, not entirely. Just like I did not choose Jude. Or Gerrard. They targeted me. Chose me."

"You had a choice about..."

Maman worked for the Senate for years. Sure, she bent a lot of noses getting bumped into CAS' capsuleer program ahead of a legion of younger candidates, but...

"I did. I did not believe I did at the time, but I did. "

Celeste wasn't expecting to win the point so easily. "So, you're admitting that."

And Roden and Duvolle still try to lure her away from CreoDron...

"I am. I am also admitting that you do not need me anymore." There. I said it. And in the saying, Vieve felt suddenly very tired, as if that had been the actual thing that had been chewing at the back of her brain and keeping her awake. It wasn't about telling her Maman that she suspected Remy was a FIO tool.

It was accepting that she didn't need to protect her anymore.

And vice-versa.

"Vieve."

"The alternative to my believing that you manipulated Remy into being a controlling fils du cochon just because you wanted me home again is my assuming that he was doing so at the behest of the FIO. Do you truly want that?"

All of the sharpness and brightness to Celeste's expression and poise lost its keen edge. "Come home, Vieve." Her tone was almost pleading.

"I am home."

Those three small words appeared to enrage Celeste like 'I love him' never had. "You ARE NOT! If you were home, you wouldn't have been KILLED and DUMPED INTO SPACE! You wouldn't have been BLINDED! You wouldn't be associating with TERRORISTS..."

"Do not do this, Maman," Vieve warned.

"And why not? Someone needs to make you see that..."

"No one NEEDS to MAKE me SEE ANYTHING!" Vieve roared. "Can you not fucking ACCEPT ... what is it with everyone believing I have NO RIGHT CHOOSING WHAT I WANT FOR MYSELF? Even the fucking ANARCHIST..." She took a breath. "GAH!" And she took another one. Two. Three. All slow and even. She was counting them in her mind. All she could hear was her heart pounding in her ears.

"I fired everyone aboard Sentiment," she resumed, her voice calmer, but her expression very much not. "And sent Remy a comm saying I did not care what the fuck he did with the mercenaries he got you to take on as security people."

It'd been convenient to let Jouets take care of hiring her crew. More to the point, it'd been easier for Vieve to live with the fact that Celeste -- using the power of attorney she'd won from Federal Administration -- had replaced almost all of them while she'd been recovering from the murder. She would have squawked more if Gavilan Ardepong had been let go. Her crew chief was one of the two people who'd followed her from Strix.

She hadn't seen or heard from Lucan Karmer since Celeste had convinced him to resign as Jouets' CEO.

Did Maman make him disappear?

Vieve didn't want to know. She just ... didn't.

"You..." Celeste began.

"Yes, I know. I need a fucking crew. I will hire another one. I have contacts here in Amarr: it should not be a..."

"Let Sussan help with that? I'll comm her and..."

"No."

"...she is off in State space right now, but I'm certain she'll..."

"No."

"Vieve, quit being unreasonable."

"You believe I am being unreasonable just because I have no desire to have your business partner hire a crew for me that will spy on my every waking moment?"

"Yes."

Celeste's admission was absurd enough to make Vieve smile. She didn't want to, but she did anyway: something small and sharp and droll. "Was that not my fucking point?"

"You're being awfully profane this evening. Picking that up from him, are you?"

"Go to hell."

"I'm already there. My only daughter doesn't want anything to do with me. She'd rather expose herself ..."

"You would make a beautiful martyr, Maman. Ste. Celeste, Protectoress of the Passive-Aggressive."

"That was uncalled for."

"Hmm."

There was silence between them for several moments, silence between mother and daughter, both still holding their half-drunk glasses of milk, both standing in their kitchens separated by over a dozen systems and one facet of a war.

Celeste was first to break the silence. "So. You love him."

"I love him."

"And he's worth turning your back on the Federation?" Of course Celeste attributed it all to that. Vieve let her. Perhaps it was even true.

"I believe so."

"Vieve, you barely..."

"I believe so." Vieve was quiet again. "Take care of yourself, Maman."

"You know ... if I could do it all over again..."

"Let us not go into that. What was done was done. Good night, Maman."

"Good night, Vie. Try to get some sleep."

"I will."

"Come see me soon?"

Vieve sighed, in lieu of answering, and closed the window.
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Kyoko Sakoda
Leviathan


Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 2804
Location: Under an emu.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beep. Want moar jooki.
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Vieve
Heron


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 46
Location: The next to last place you'll look.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beep.

Me too. Razz
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Han Renbai
Raven


Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 730
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next installment plx (maybe after the war dec though, eh?) Twisted Evil
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