• Got Bread?
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • The English Robin
    The English Robin
  • Japanese Maple
    Japanese Maple
  • Waterton Lakes Valley
    Waterton Lakes Valley
  • Magic Mushrooms
    Magic Mushrooms
  • Skywing
    Skywing
  • Fairy Stream
    Fairy Stream
  • Canadian Fall
    Canadian Fall
  • Amethyst Sky
    Amethyst Sky
  • Summer Lake Cabin
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • Stormy Mountain Sunset
    Stormy Mountain Sunset

Yearly archives: 2012

A Delivery

Intaki V – Moon 5 – Astral Mining Inc. Refinery

Another late night—or a very early morning, depending on the point of view. Sakaane’s office was dark; only the holodisplay floating before her cast a pale, glowing light.

A summary scrolled past on the display. It was a rundown of combat statistics for the alliance, automatically produced to summarize the previous twenty-four hours’ activity. It had four entries on it, all coded red: losses.

She glanced briefly at the first one. Daniel Alpena and Spar Jamlamin of Repo. had fought in Aunsou, with Spar’s Thrasher destroying the ILF Rifter. There were no comments appended to the kill report; she made a mental note to ask Daniel about it later.

The next three entries made her bite her lip. The Coreli war was now into its seventh week and engagements continued to prove frustrating. Earlier that month it had been publicly confirmed that Coreli ships intended for use in the campaign against IPI tended to be fit with warp core stabilizers, allowing them to slip the field and escape from any engagement where they might otherwise be destroyed. In the face of this tactic some IPI pilots had decided to make an effort to return to the alliance’s normal activities. But of course the war meant no system was safe, and Coreli had well-paid locator agents in their employ. The next entry in the summary showed Joshua Foiritain had used a Rapier to attack an empty Occator belonging to Alessa Leon in Hatakani, no doubt while she was on a run to fetch supplies destined for the Intaki V-5 trade hub. Approximately half an hour later, it seemed Alessa and Daniel caught up to the Coreli CEO in Stacmon only to have both of their ships destroyed minutes apart by his Pilgrim.

Sakaane wiped the report off the display and leaned forward, elbows on the desk, to rest her forehead in her hands.


A Request

Intaki V – Moon 5 – Astral Mining Inc. Refinery

The office was more or less dark, save for a small lamp. Its glow cast a dim pool of light on the desk.

Sakaane sat quietly, contemplating the photographs highlighted by the light. They were large prints and intended to be two sets. The first of each set was made more or less irrelevant thanks to their blurred contents. The second photo of the second set showed slightly more detail but was still too out of focus to discern its details. The third of the first set showed, in crystal clarity, what its predecessors had only hinted at. A shot of her mother sitting on the deck at sunset, mouth open in a soundless scream of terror.

The second set was incomplete. The photos had been delivered but destroyed sight unseen. Despite this, despite how dark and vague its first picture was, somewhere deep inside she feared she knew what the others would have shown, though she dared not admit it to herself.


Visual Omens – The Fifth

Thanks to Bataav for participating.

Intaki Prime – Southern Hemisphere – Eionell Estate

Bataav woke unexpectedly from deep sleep but did not stir. The temptation to open his eyes and sit up was just a dull remnant of instinct easily ignored thanks to years of discipline and skill. To any onlooker he would have still appeared lost in his dreams.

Instead, he stretched forth his senses. A gentle inhalation told him the room smelled the way it should. The light sheet covering him from the hips down was undisturbed. Beside him, Sakaane’s breath was slow and even. She remained asleep, her hand resting lightly on his bare chest. Beyond her, their room was quiet. Yet, something had awoken him.

Flash! Brilliant white light illuminated his closed eyelids and was gone before they could squint in reflex. A greenish-blue afterimage convulsed against the back of his eyes in strange, gradually-fading shapes. After the span of a few heartbeats, the rumble came and he relaxed, wondering if there would be any rain this time or if the storm would blow itself out as nothing more than heat static.

The thunder disturbed Sakaane and she rolled over, sighing softly, but didn’t wake. Bataav took the opportunity to shift closer. The exposed skin of her back felt cool against his front when he wrapped his arm comfortably around her. His lips briefly brushed her shoulder as he settled in.

Another flash, another rumble. And then another. The storm was rapidly approaching.


I-RED Tea and Press Conference

This ficlet is based directly on chatlogs from the in-game event hosted by I-RED, but retooled as a narrative from Sakaane’s point of view.
Some portions of dialogue or actions by other characters at the event are not represented, because Sakaane didn’t eavesdrop on everyone. :)

En Route to Malkalen V – Moon 1 – Ishukone Corporation Factory

I-RED has been in full operation for three years and we would like to thank those leaders and allies who have made it possible with a grand ceremony. Through hardship and prosperity, I-RED has endured these long years and made a name for itself as a forward thinker and fighter for Free Trade and greater CONCORD authority in the cluster. The vision of one man turned into the dream and cause of many, and I-RED will continue to forge new relations among all four empires and beyond—all while helping to expand the influence of law and order to regions lacking.

The information stream flowed past Sakaane’s mind’s eye. Her implants automatically decoded the data, effortlessly reforming the otherwise incoherent bits into ordered words and language the organic part of her brain would understand.

Outside, a warp tunnel formed and then eventually collapsed. The hull she was plugged into was an Amarr shuttle affectionately called Firefly and it steered itself toward the stargate. She paid it scant attention. The fastest route to Malkalen from Intaki was mostly lowsec, but today, due to the handful of baseliner passengers on the shuttle with her, she had chosen to go via Stacmon which made the journey mostly through hisec. The passengers had gladly taken advantage of the opportunity she’d offered to go so far and so quickly compared to normal transports.


Respite

Thanks to Bataav, Caellach Marellus, and John Revenent for participating.

Somewhere in Syndicate

The journey from Intaki had thus far been uneventful, save for a brief, heart-pounding moment when their ships came out of warp kissing up against a bubble. Reverse thrusters fired and the hulls keeled over like cats desperately wanting to avoid being stuffed in a carrier. Crewmen—already at alert status—had leapt to battle stations, but the bubble was abandoned, or at the very least, unmanned at that particular moment. The two ships were cloaked anyway. Rather than crawling through the bubble to the gate, they’d warped off to a celestial, returned from a different vector, and continued on their way.

“You’re quiet,” Bataav observed a while later as they neared their destination.

Sakaane swiveled her camera drones to where she supposed his Buzzard might be beside her Anathema as they flew through the black together. Usually, she was the one prompting him.

Another jump came and went and she remained silent, thoughtful. An accompanying flash of gate fire was the only hint he could see that she was still with him.

“I was just thinking,” she eventually replied with a sigh. “The comments Syagrius and others have made about IPI and I-RED. They’re…troubling. We can’t afford to be seen that way anymore.”

“We do need to do more to dissuade opinions like those.”

“Which is ironic, considering where we’re going and why. But then, I suppose it couldn’t be done all at once anyway.”

“No. And we should be mindful of how it might be perceived.”

Silence again. Then she said tightly, “Surely there’s a way to coexist as allies with I-RED while ensuring the public doesn’t see us as their ‘pet’.”


Nascence

Thanks to Tycho Antus, Bataav, and James Syagrius for participating.

“As long as you look for someone else to validate who you are by seeking their approval,
you are setting yourself up for disaster.
You have to be whole and complete in yourself.
No one can give you that.
You have to know who you are—what others say is irrelevant.”

Intaki V – Moon 5 – Astral Mining Inc. Refinery
Capsuleer Residences

“I’m going down to the surface,” Sakaane suddenly announced.

Bataav looked up from the intelligence report he’d been studying. Sakaane sat across the room from him in a large window box spanning one whole wall of the living room. She’d barely moved since that morning, keeping her thoughts to herself and staring moodily out at the vista of the dome.

He followed her gaze. Evening was falling on the station and Ramacandra was beginning to darken the dome’s false sky. Someone had parked a Myrmidon overhead; it hung like a frozen dagger against the black disc of the moon, a ghostly visage that slowly solidified as the dome turned transparent for the night.

“I’m nearly done this report,” he said. “I can be ready in a few minutes.”

“I’d rather go alone. I need…some time to myself.”

He shook his head, picked up his datapad to input a few quick commands. They’d been over that already. “Then one of my men will meet you at the spaceport.”