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Monthly archives: July, 2012

Invalidation

Thanks to Azdan Amith and James Syagrius for participating.

Intaki V – Moon 5 – Astral Mining Inc. Refinery

The door opened; a blond-haired man peeked in before quietly entering. He paused at the doorway to bow, carefully balancing the tray he held so as not to spill its contents.

“Madam President,” he said respectfully.

She seemed not to have heard him. Her attention was focused entirely on the holodisplay projected by the desk; one hand rested on its wooden surface, the fingers idly tapping out a pattern as if to some music only she could hear. The other hand’s fingers dallied near her mouth, tugging thoughtfully at her lips as she frowned in concentration while a document—a mail, he thought—composed itself before her.

He crossed the office to the credenza, his feet making no sound as they padded over the carpeted floor, and set the tray down. Then he took stock of the credenza’s contents: the water remained chilled, the tea and cider were hot. The bottle of Payloqan k’Adharnam was nearly empty; he made a mental note to order another supply from the surface.

Selecting a mug, he reached for the pot of cider and poured. The liquid’s semi-sweet berry scent steamed into his face and he inhaled. Yes, this would be good. Then he selected a plate and transferred three small sandwich wedges, along with a few slices of sweet pod melon, onto it from the tray he’d been carrying. The remaining food he covered up to keep fresh.


Invalidation Reflection

The war is over, or will be in twenty-four hours. I received the message from CONCORD late tonight while trying to organize allied support.

When I told James Syagrius about it… Well, to be honest, I’m not really sure what happened. But my gut tells me it wasn’t good. At least the conversation I had with Azdan Amith was enjoyable.

In the meantime, my office is a pool of foam… I won’t be able to get back in there until the mess is cleaned out. What a day.

I have a lot of work to do to get IPI in a place where, if this kind of thing happened again, we could handle it… We should be able to handle it. There’s really no excuse for our performance.

I’m still quite angry and frustrated, for a variety of reasons. Why the alliance was allowed to slip to the state it’s been in, why the enemy always seems to be just one step ahead, why our time is taken up by this kind of crap.

This hands-off, non-political, mainly industrial-focused approach just isn’t working for us. We live in low-security space and can barely defend ourselves. This needs to change and it’s something I’ve known for a long time already. If the war hadn’t been invalidated then we would have had allies like I-RED and a few others pitching in to assist. But? I really want IPI to stand on its own feet. Why can’t we ever seem to win our battles ourselves?

IPI needs to change. Change is hard, and people hate it, but it must be done and it falls to me to do it.

I need time to think.


The Crack in the Fine China

As if everything else this week wasn’t bad enough, I witnessed something today which bothers me.

After finishing my conversation with James yesterday I must not have disconnected properly, because when I returned to public comms today I found I was still monitoring the same channel. James was active and so, since my attention wasn’t too divided, I sent greetings and we chatted for a bit about the war.

And then, rather suddenly, the channel filled up with…other people. Some were red to IPI or ILF, while others were not, though based on everything they said freely, they should have been. And James welcomed them warmly, bantering with them as easily and openly as I’d expect anyone to do with people they considered close and personal friends.

Suddenly I was reminded of the suspicions and the warnings I felt in my gut when RECLT arrived in Intaki with GIPA close on their heels. The pilots in James’s channel were blatant about the piracy they engage in. One even boasted about stealing slaves, not to free them, but as a means to take ownership of them. And James…didn’t really seem to mind.

I was…shocked, to say the least. I’m glad I saw this before too much else had happened.

I need to consider it carefully.


Uncertainties

Six days on in the war. Despite the resolve I felt at the beginning, and several engagements where we managed to get a kill here or there, I’m feeling…discouraged. VKYR have proven adept at out-maneuvering us on most occasions, and baiting us into traps which, in hindsight, we should have seen coming.

Maybe I’m not cut out for this. I look back on the last half year and don’t see a lot to be proud of. This war is just the latest example. There’s really no reason for the situation to have spiralled out of control like it has. I’m disappointed in myself. I like to believe I’m a reasonable woman but this last week has tested my limits. I’ve lashed out a few times at people I shouldn’t have. I’m angry at me, I’m angry at them, I’m angry at the enemy. There’s so much going on. So much I worry about.

Late at night, when I should be sleeping but aren’t, I ask myself, did I do this? I have to protect my people and make the best decisions I can even if those decisions have uncomfortable consequences. But the more I try to get involved and do the right thing, the worse things seem to get.

I ended up speaking to James Syagrius about it. I’m not sure I meant to lean on him like that but it was good to talk to someone and it was nice that he listened.

I want to believe his offer of assistance will make a difference, but right now I feel like nothing will help us.

Transcript follows.


Negotiations: The Mess Goes On

I’m exhausted. I worked hard today, trying to negotiate a resolution to the VKYR war. I spoke to Bataav about this situation too, only to find out he’d neglected to mention some things to me which made the situation a bit more complex than it probably would have been.

In the end, despite what seemed like a promising beginning…rather than being anything remotely close to productive, my negotiations were an exercise in futility.

Transcripts follow.


Minmatar Freedom Fighters declare war on Intaki Freedom Fighters…?

The Intaki Prosperity Initiative received a declaration of war today from the most unlikely corner: Valkyr Industries, a member of the Minmatar militia.

To say this is a mess is a gross understatement. Why the war was declared wasn’t clear at the outset and the more I got into it the more murky and confused things became. At first it seemed to have been issued because one or more of my pilots responded to assist FCO pilots when FCO was attacked by VKYR pilots in Intaki.

But no. The actual reason is, to put it bluntly, so incredibly…stupid

Transcripts follow.


Steps Forward

I took some time today to get to know James Syagrius and Tycho Antus a bit better. It was a nice change, given…recent events, to just sit and talk. We spent a little time discussing activities in ILF and RECLT:


Visual Omens – The Third

Another photograph. The envelope for this one was taped to the door of the suite Bataav and I share on Astral V-5.

It’s a close-up, zoomed in again from the last photo. But this one is clear as crystal. It shows, in perfect, alarming detail…

There’s a date on the image, the kind automatically stamped on when the shot was taken. January 15, YC114. The day my mother died.

The evening, rather. The photo shows it was evening by the color of the waning daylight cast upon the deck. By the purple-blue hue of the sky, just visible in one corner. By the stray firefly, perhaps the first to come out for the night, hovering over the hanging flower basket in the background.

It was evening…because my mother was sitting on the deck at the back of my home on January 15, just like in this photo, to watch the fireflies come out. She had a blanket over her legs even though it was still summer and hot outside…she often had chills.

But I never imagined her face would look…like…that. An essay of terror.


The Potential for Friendship

I came across a surprising announcement on the Intergalactic Summit today. It seems that, following some carefully-dressed yet still troubling statements by Chancellor Valoron, RECLT has withdrawn from Federal Consensus Outreach.

I couldn’t help but feel an opportunity was staring me in the face. So, I took it.

I feel optimistic. It would be so beneficial for IPI to get an active group like RECLT in with us. And…well. If RECLT joined IPI I’ll admit I wouldn’t mind reveling just a little in the public kerfluffle it would cause. There would be amusing and fun times for sure.

We’ll see where this goes!

Transcript follows.


Visual Omens – The Second

Another envelope, sealed, was waiting for me when I arrived at the Astral IPI office today. My aide tells me a courier came, like before, and when he was told I wasn’t in yet, left it with him, and he placed it on my desk for me. Karan said he was a nice, polite man, so I imagine it was the same one as last time. I’ve asked him to try to delay the courier from leaving if he sees him again.

Like the last delivery, there was a photograph in the envelope. When I compare them, it seems to me that the second shot is zoomed in on an area from the first.

It’s still out of focus so doesn’t show as much as it could, but it does show more than its predecessor. It’s maybe only half as blurred… What I thought of before as the man-made blob looks like a deck or patio and there could be someone sitting in a chair on it.

Now I am starting to worry. This photo provokes an unnerving feeling of familiarity: in a way it reminds me of the yard at the back of my home, though some of the (sort of visible) details are off from when I was last there. And why would someone take photos like this of the patio?

I asked Aranza about it. She said she’s not spent any time on the patio recently. The commandos have no reason to make still images either, and I can’t imagine they’d randomly send them to me even if they did. Bataav agrees; he thinks the photo only looks like the backyard and must obviously still have been meant for someone else. He had everything analyzed and other than not being able to tell what the pictures are truly of, there is nothing else to be learned about them.

I should probably just toss them out.