Thursday, December 24, 2009


Vaden leans heavily on his desk, papers strewn about, an empty bottle of his favorite wine, Luminaire Red YC 73, lying on its side near the edge of his desk. He stares at the holographic image of his parents as he has often done.

Many times I wonder if my previous attitudes were incorrect. Have I chosen the right path? Or, barring the path itself, have I chosen the best way to walk that path?

I've spent some time reviewing my previous logs. Word of your death reached me months ago, and I claimed I felt nothing. Obviously, that was a lie brought on by over a year of Drop addiction. I do feel...responsible, if not guilty. It is an uncomfortably alien emotion for me. In the station, there is a small festival going on for some local holiday. It reminds me of the ceremonies we attended years ago, when I was a boy, before I went to the academy. I remember those times, times of faith and fellowship.

I miss that feeling. I have a family in the Ghosts, I suppose. But the ones that understand me are gone or unavailable. Vince left for Veto, something I have still not reconciled to. Yishal left, and joined the damned CVA, of all places. I wonder if the Cartel is leading her as a sleeper agent much as I had been in Laconian. Inara is busy being a... a whore, I guess would be best. She, and those two giggling brats Repentance and Morwen seem more interested in shopping than serving a criminal organization. The whole damn immorality of it stings my Amarrian bones. From Morwen I could understand, being a godless Gallentean. But Repentance and Inara come from more traditional cultures and should know better.

He sighs, setting the empty wine bottle upright as he reaches for a full bottle behind him.

What does it matter, really? I prefer to spend my time in seclusion here on the Immolation, time for recollection and study. I talked with Leo briefly, a much ado about nothing, before he promptly excused himself. I don't think he likes talking to a Sani Sabik. Seems thats all people see me as nowadays. Not that I really care what other people think. Just another sign of apathy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Vaden tiredly turns on a small cam drone next to his desk. It immediately focuses on him as he reclines into his chair, propping his feet on his desk as he begins to sip his wine.

I'd almost forgotten about this damned thing. I suppose now is good a time as ever to get back into practice. There's so much to catch up on.

Starting with my memory loss months back, which Mortis says was caused by tamperings with my memory augmentation implant, things have gotten a little crazy. It started with Larkonis disappearing. Out of the black one day, he disappeared. He was gone for a month, with nearly a hide nor hair seen of him. With the head gone, the body of the Neo Spartans quickly unraveled. My comrades left for other corporations. I was left with shadows and ghosts in Otou. Hmph. Ghosts... It seemed only natural that I return there. Unfortunately, the Cartel had other plans.

Shortly after Larkonis disappeared and my memory stolen, I was contacted by an unfamiliar representative of the Cartel. Whatever happened during the time of my missing memory obviously angered them, and they had decided that I was to be retired. Me, retired. Bah. But Bane and I talked it over, and agreed, considering the leverage the Cartel has. I argued with them, said that I wished to return to the Ghosts. After all, my mission in the Neo Spartans was over, it would be right for me to return. My handler felt otherwise. He ordered me that I could not return to PRETA. Unless I did one last job for them.

Stain. A blight upon the cluster. Filled with shattered remnants of a crazed man's fantasy. It was here that the Cartel sent me on my impossible mission. To find the Nation's top pilot, Chelm Soran. And kill him. I had no support, no idea of where he would be located, and no clue how long this would take. The Cartel obviously felt this was to be a task to keep me busy, or even worse, force me to accept defeat. Killing the top pilot in the region, by myself, would take forever.

One week later, I killed Chelm Soran.

I gave his tag to Nephilim. Or Anima now. They changed the ranking structure while I was gone. I preferred the old way. I didn't tell her that his death cleared the way for me to return to the family. A short time later, I was entered into Naraka, though I no longer hold the lofty position I once did. It is better this way, I suppose. The burden of command off my shoulders allowed me to focus on more private matters.

Then, out of the black, I get contacted by a rookie pilot straight out of the academy, one Cruenta Orexis. She was pretty, for a Khanid, and said she was a Sani Sabik and needed my help in teaching her the Sani Sabik ways. I was a teacher, years ago, and is a natural thing to me. I gave her a series of questions for her to study and explore, and then present her conclusions to me. Her answers were...questionable. I had suspicions from her previous behavior, but did not ask her directly. Her third question, about why the accursed Blood Raiders are wrong, finally revealed her true loyalties. We were in the Skyhook at the time and I...lost my temper. I don't remember much. But soon her blood will cover my stone.

I believe that is the bulk of what has happened recently, since my last entry. Maybe I'll make more frequent entries from now on. God only knows.

Vaden reaches to turn the drone off, but remembers one final thing before settling back down into his chair.

Some of the younger members of Naraka, particularly the ones that joined after my departure, have been referring to me as 'Gramps.' A peculiar sobriquet, one that I do not find insulting. As an Amarrian, I do find it a bit flattering. But whether it is to honor my age and experience, or a play on my typical irascible nature, I do not know. Recorder, off.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Forgotten Opportunities

Vaden sits at his desk, his head propped on his arms as he stares at the holo of the Amarrian couple.

What did you think of me, at the end? Did you blame me? Did you blame the Empire? Does it matter? Are you even in a position to care right now?

The holo starts flickering, the telltale sign that his Archangel handler, a woman known only as 'Seraph,' was about to make an appearance.

Well, Mr. Khale, I trust your mission was successful?

The apparition apparently startled Vaden, as he jumps fearfully from his seat.

Stop the theatrics, Vaden. What did you learn?

Her question goes unanswered, as he simply says, "What?"

Losing patience, Seraph replaces her apparition with a star map similar to the one she showed Vaden previously.

Our on-board tracking computers pinpointed your location a few days ago. You didn't fail the Cartel, as I told them you wouldn't.
Now, tell me, what did you learn during your time in Jovian space?

Vaden stares, not comprehending, before finally letting out one soft spoken question.

Who are you?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Vaden lounges comfortably on board his Revelation, lazily sipping from a glass of wine. The holo of the Amarrian couple on his desk falters momentarily. Vaden quickly taps a button under his desk as the holo is suddenly replaced by the form of a woman, her face obscured. If her posture didn't belie her irritability, her tone certainly did.

Mr. Khale, what exactly do you think you're doing?

Chuckling absently as he continues sipping his wine, Vaden doesn't heed her irate voice, taking his time before forming a response.

I'm enjoying the luxuries my status as a capsuleer have afforded me. It's really quite nice, to relax once in a while, and a well earned one, I might say, after major campaigns in Omam and Bosboger.

Despite her apparition being a projection from a holo interface, the tap of her foot was still obvious, her impatience wearing thin.

Mr. Khale, you were not assigned to the Laconian Syndicate to idle on your ass. You were sent for a very specific job.

Vaden finally turns to face the holo, smirking slightly to his Archangel handler.

But, dear Seraph...How am I to know the best manner to perform in service to the Cartel if the Cartel doesn't tell me what they want me to do?

Seraph, not amused by Vaden's flippant attitude, disappears from the holo momentarily. Her visage is replaced by a starmap, the VVA-F4 region highlighted.

Do you know what this is, Mr. Khale?

Well, Seraph, it looks like a map.

Her voice, talking over the image, responds in shrill anger.

I am not talking about the map! I am talking about the fact that members of your organization, the organization that we placed you in as a sleeper and as an eye on their operations, was sent to uncharted space, space likely controlled by the Jovians, and you did not go with them!

Vaden sighs, perhaps having expected this call.

I tried to go. Leadership was tight lipped on the entire thing, and I was told my services would not be required for that mission. I'm not incompetent, Seraph...

The map disappears, the woman's figure replacing it. Her voice is much calmer, although it still belies some stress.

I know you're not incompetent. But I have superiors I have to answer to as well.

Vaden's voice adopts an almost concerned tone.

Archangel superiors...or Dominations?

It's none of your concern. what you can. Don't disappoint me. And always remember whom your loyalty belongs.

The holo cuts out momentarily, quickly replaced by the Amarrian couple. Vaden returns to sipping his wine, smirking as he taps the button under his desk.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Vaden turns on the camera drone, and it immediately begins hovering around. On multiple holos are displayed news feeds and pictures of the Battle of Omam. Millions dead for the wealth of one moon. The Scope displayed it as the second largest destruction of capitals in the history of the cluster.

By God, the destruction...Beyond anything I have ever seen before. I do not relish doing that again.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Orders

Vaden sits solemnly aboard the Immolation, reviewing yet more personnel files and other corporate plans for Ghost Festival. The holo of the Amarrian couple on his desk stare silently at his work, an empty glass of wine set to the side. The holo of the couple flickers momentarily. Vaden glances at it, paying it little heed, until the holo is replaced by the figure of a woman, her face shrouded.

Captain Khale, how nice to see you again.

Vaden smiles as he recognizes the woman's voice.

Hello, Seraph. And what name shall I call you by today?

The woman laughs lightly for a moment.

Let's go with Katarina. I like the sound of that name today.

Vaden shakes his head, still smiling.

And what news from Curse?

The woman fakes a pout, adopting an insincere hurt tone.

Oh Vaden, you never call, you never write. What's a girl to think?

He sighs, understanding it's all part of her game, her way of warming him up before giving him bad news.

What now?

The holo is replaced with the corp logos of multiple pirate organizations. Beyond Divinity, Invicta, Neo Spartans...accompanied by corporate statistics and public records. The woman's voice continues over the display.

There are numerous reports of increased activity from some of the largest outlaw capsuleer corporations in the cluster. The machinations of capsuleers in null sec regions are easily understood and manipulated, but the psychology of outlaws such as these is much more difficult to manipulate. We could throw ISK at the problem, but the Dominations don't wish to spend that much when we have the much cheaper options of available sleeper agents. That's where you come in...

Vaden's smile disappears as he starts to understand what she's asking, replaced soon by anger and rage.

What are you telling me?!

The woman's shrouded figure reappears, her voice much sterner and not leaving any room for negotiation.

You are to join the Neo Spartans organization, ingratiate yourself there. If we ever see that your activation is required, you will be notified. Otherwise, consider yourself a fullfledged member of the Neo Spartans. Ghost Festival is behind you.

Vaden slams his fists on the desk, spilling the wine glass to the floor.

What of Inara?! What of Myrhial?! Or Vince, or Milo, or Mortis, or-

Captain Khale! This is not up for negotiation. You are the one that decided to serve us. Your personal feelings are not part of the equation. You can either do as you are told, and leave the Ghosts, or you can disobey our direct orders, and force us to have them expel you, or they can choose to keep you and lose our protection and blessing. The choice is yours.

The holo fades, replaced once again by the Amarrian couple. Vaden slams his fist once again into the desk. He holds his head in his hands, breathing heavily. He finally opens comms.

Myrhial, I need to speak to you. I'll meet you in the Skyhook.

Vaden sighs once as he opens up comms and submits his resignation from Ghost Festival to the Concord dock authorities.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bones and Blood

Vaden activates the camera drone, rubbing his jaw gingerly.

Recorder on. That little Brutor child can throw a punch. Rattled my implants. But no matter, at least she finally grew a spine and stopped cowering around me. Percruor, going so far as to punch the man interviewing you...that takes guts.

Vince already seems to be influencing her to be a female, Brutor version of himself. She even cracked my jaw, just like Vince did to Ilias months back. Granted, Vince did it with a walking cane and shattered his jaw, where as mine was a slight fracture the AIMEDs were able to quickly fix. I don't know what he's planning, but he has something in mind for the girl. Whether it's good or bad remains to be seen.

Myself, I am curious as to how her hulking friend will respond to her joining our little family. She said she would refuse to follow my orders and open fire on him if ordered to do so. All I know is the addition of that young Brutor is going to make things very interesting here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Coward's Way

Vaden sneers as he plays with the singed green metal scrap belonging to a once intact Gallente freighter. He twiddles it in his fingers, whistling an old Amarrian song. The Amarrian couple in the holo on his desk stare on in blissful ignorance.

Recorder on. What fools. To attempt such a task with an unwieldy ship in low security space. And your escorts? Those fools were barely able to out task the P
erseverance. They should be thankful I wasn't in the mood to take out the Black Heart, else they would have lost even more. As it was, Miss Elysa Darkheart, you may have escaped destruction at our hands, at least in the public records. But I know it was truly I that brought your doom. Most would be upset that all that remained were mere scraps, such as what I hold in my hand. But your control tower fetched a tidy sum. Not to mention the satisfaction of seeing your corpse. All in all, you should have done business. You shouldn't have taken the coward's way.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Plans of vengeance

A camera drone floats near Vaden. He is recording plans for...something. A holo display on his desk displays an Amarrian couple. Vaden makes small notes concerning tactical reconfiguration of his dreadnought. Shortly, the door to his chamber opens silently, and Ilias Obelar, his squadron commander for his Templar wing enters. Vaden quickly deactivates the holo of the Amarrian couple, turning his attention to Ilias.

"Commander Khale, I understand you wanted to see me?"

Yes, Ilias, I have a very important job for you. One that I presently can not undertake, but can only trust to a few people. You're one of them. I have recently come into an...acquisition that I need you to take to Heaven for me.

"Heaven, sir?"

The constellation in Curse. The system of Hemin, to be precise. You will take the Interbus there, along with five of the best of your men. You will also have a package, two cubic meters in volume, approximately 500 kilograms mass. When you reach Hemin, you will be contacted by an agent of the Archangels, one that owes me a favor. Don't bother asking her name, I don't know it and she won't give it. She will take the package from you. You will need to wait approximately one week there. I have made arrangements for the Archangels to arrange room and board. Feel free to visit the Serpentis stations and take part in whatever recreation they have available. After one week's time, you will take the Interbus back here. You will have in your possession one prisoner. He is to remain in stasis for the duration of the trip. He must not be awakened. Return him to me, Ilias, and I'll pay you and your men triple your salary for a year. Not to mention that you will have a... seminal role in Sabikannen.

Ilias thinks for a moment, then slowly smiles and nods his head in agreement.

"Of course, sir. We'll make preparations at once. ...If you don't mind my asking sir, who is the prisoner?"

Vaden doesn't answer, he simply sips slowly from his wine glass, a glass made from the skull of Math'ra Hiede.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


The recorder is turned on in the midst of a hateful rant, whether by accident or design, it is unclear.


Vaden stops, panting heavily, catching his breath. The repeated slam of a fist onto the floor can be heard.

I am not one of them. How dare he call me one of the Covenant, the foulest enemies of the Empire, that blight from within. Math'ra Hiede will pay. As I now spill my blood to the floor, I will spill his blood to the void. I will personally see his corpse hung in my gallery for posterity. By my blood, God, grant me revenge.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Recorder on. She's being stubborn. And, as always, I know why, but she refuses to listen to me. I fear she's reverting back to how she was nearly a year ago, when we were more akin to enemies than dearest friends.

For posterity, I need to back up. Inara graduated from the SWA two days before I graduated from the Imperial Academy. We both had contacts in the corporation called the Order of the Black Rose. We've been inseparable ever since. She claims I've always been bound to my faith. Even in those days, I suppose that was correct. In one form or another, I've clinged steadfastly to my faith as the guiding light in my existence. Shortly after joining the united, I saw the lie of the perversion of God in the Empire, granting salvation by merit of birth, and turned to the Sani Sabik, a purer form of faith that grants salvation based on merit of deed.

My conversion to the Sani Sabik was not an immediate act. I began simply as a study against the Blood Raiders, to whom I still hold a special enmity. Shortly after I converted, Inara and I began to have...spouts in our relationship. I embraced my faith and my career as a pirate. She deluded herself into behaving as if she were still in good standing with the State and a loyal daughter of Saisio. She chalks up her criminal status to a misunderstanding of business practices, and sees the murder of thousands of innocents as a transaction gone wrong. Yet I am the lunatic, or so they say...

In my studies of the Sani Sabik, I have found that the Blood Raiders err on one fundamental doctrine. The Covenant sees capsuleer blood as the purest. In that regard, they are misguided. The blood of the capsuleer is the blood of a clone, an infomorph, a pale copy of human flesh, and thus not worthy of sacrifice to God. They also misinterpret the reason behind sacrifice. Their blooding ceremonies are mechanical, devoid of spirituality and faith. Mine, the truer form, are so much more...personal. The brands and scars on my arms from Sabikannen, the Blood Night, are proof enough of this. In any case, the purest forms of sacrifice come not from capsuleers. God chose all capsuleers to follow his path of the Sani Sabik, it is not his will that we kill our own kind. The best of mankind to offer as sacrifice are the slaves, the lowest of the low. Some may not see the symbolism, but it is rather simple. The slaves are beneath God's grace, they are cut off from his benevolence. Offering their blood to him will assuage any wrongdoing that they or their ancestors have committed and appease God, granting them clemency in the afterlife. I'm doing them a favor, in the end.

That brings me back to Inara. She, despite ridiculing my faith at every opportunity, took the chance to emulate Amarrian culture well enough in becoming a slave owner, going so far as to call herself a "Holder." Despite her self-title, she is still in better standings with the Empire than I. They tend to look down on whom they see as traitors and heretics. The fools. Inara, oddly, is the best candidate to purchase large amounts of slaves for the ritual sacrifice to celebrate my promotion to Tactical Commander of Ghost Festival. Yet she refuses. On the "moral" principle of trying to dictate how my slaves will be used. Because I told her God's honest truth of their purpose, she refuses to purchase them for me. A Caldari! Trying to dictate the terms of one of their goods. I argued away her resolve, in the end, but that is not what is overly troubling. One way or another, I shall get my slaves, and have my sacrifice. But I do not wish to lose my friend again.

It's her damned delusion. She refuses to admit the truth of who and what she is. And because I embrace it, she distances herself from me. Her hedonism runs rampant, but because we are in Gallente space, it's not overly looked down on. I've heard...rumors...of her intimate activity. She kills, murders, just as quickly as I. She owns more slaves than I do. But she still plays the part of the good citizen, with a "misunderstanding" with Concord. I only hope she comes to her senses before she completely alienates herself from me again. Cost me a fortune in bribes to get her last reconciliation gift. Maybe, for once, a damned Achuran woman will listen to me and stop being so damned difficult.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Signs from God

Recorder on. It is a sign from God. It must be. My self-pity, loathing, and fear will come to an end, for my purpose is clear, my destiny, unfolded.

For a while now, that...damned woman, has made me question myself. It began before I ever joined Ghost Festival, when the Sleeper anomalies first appeared. I crossed the plane and found myself face to face with the greatest destructive force in the universe, a black hole. Since then, I have been on a path of doubt and faithlessness. She was right, if I had died in the event horizon, in a gravity well so great even my brainscan could not escape, where would God have been? The universe would not have even noticed my passing. She was right to say that to the universe, I am insignificant, and my death would be meaningless, my name, forgotten. But she ignored one obvious fact. I DID NOT DIE. I escaped, to continue my existence, my eternal service to God. For awhile, I ignored this fact as well. I allowed her whispers to cloud my judgment and my faith.

I saw myself as a servant to a God that, like the universe, would not even notice my coming and passing. What would be the purpose of serving a God such as that? My self doubt led to a booster addiction, one which I apparently made a fool of myself while on. The Drop was especially taxing. I would often hallucinate that I had spared my parents their fate at the hands of the MIO. But each day I would awake to the truth of being an orphaned child of a dead family. With no faith, no purpose, false worlds were obviously the better. But I have been given a direction, a second chance, as if descended from the lips of God himself.

I have been made the Tactical Commander of Ghost Festival. I am the mind behind all of our major combat operations, second in rank only to Myrhial. Mortis is my direct subordinate, replacing me in the role of Fleet Marshal. My first choice was obviously Inara, but as she is too busy dealing with her personal life to do anything in a commanding capacity, it is left to Mort. He will make a fine replacement for myself.

That damned woman once spoke of the purpose of power, and that politics were required for power beyond that of a pure brute. I have sheer power, my Gigapulse cannons are proof enough of that. But political power is another all together. But now, in a position of command within Ghost Festival, I will have an ear to Nephilim, and through her to the Dominations. That is a road to power. Now all that is left to build up our fleet, and prove ourselves worthy of the support of the Cartel. Praise be to God. I will have to offer the blood of a thousand slaves as sacrifice for his benevolence.

Recorder off.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Recorder on. I've been having nightmares lately. I'm not used to having nightmares. I always thought of them as being for weak minded fools, simpletons unable to separate guilt from deed. I don't think that anymore. The nightmares I'm having are based on something different. Remorse? Grief? I don't know.

One of the nightmares is of the day I was accepted into the Imperial Academy. My mother and father were on their planetside estates in Youl, where I grew up. I had been speaking with the Naval recruiter at the station in system, and with my excellent service in Carthum I was assured entrance. My aptitude for pod piloting was high as well, and I was excited to be accepted. I was still a young man by Amarrian standards, and my parents did not approve of my military service. Too dangerous. The dream begins with me arguing with my mother, Cora, on the balcony of our estate. My father, Kosomo, has not yet arrived home from his latest business deal. They are trying to dissuade me from going through with my enlistment. My father arrives, and joins in the arguing. While we fight, the MIO bursts onto the balcony, grabbing my parents and throwing them onto their knees, preparing to execute them. I raise my arms, and instead of hands I have giga-pulse lasers. I fire repeatedly at the MIO agents, my shots passing through them harmlessly, my efforts wasted, my parents helpless. My brothers and sisters are brought out as well, and placed next to my parents. I continue firing, to no avail. My family cries out to me as they are executed in front of me, one by one. Only as the last of the MIO kills my mother, agony painted on her face, do my shots take effect, killing the MIO agents. Cora and Kosomo then arise, their faces burned to ash, and point accusingly at me. I back away, falling over the balcony, falling endlessly into a blackhole below my house. After what seems like an eternity, I awake, sweat staining my sheets and my heart racing.

The other nightmare is shorter, but more harrowing. It's Sabikannen, the night that I killed Jall'n's father. Except Inara was away at the time, and I sacrificed Jall'n as well. In my bloodlust, I kill Alexia as well. I revel in the scene, bathing in the blood in a horrifying macabre dance. While I dance, Alexia, Jall'n, and Kerren arise, their skin taut and pale from the blood loss, their eyes empty and hateful at the same time. They approach me, lifting their hands to point accusing fingers at me. Their hair becomes capsuleer plug ins, snaking towards me to plug in and engulf me at every point on my body. I struggle, and they grasp tighter and tighter, suffocating me. As the air leaves my body and I lose consciousness, I awake.

Vaden pauses, breathing rhythmically, sighing once before he continues.

I...I have to get off Drop. I think it, and the Crash, Exile, Blue Pill, and Crystal Egg don't react too well through heavy, chronic exposure. Maybe Inara was right. Hell, maybe I was right. There's no point in wasting eternity being calxed out of my mind. And with these nightmares, I can't go on using, especially if they're contributing to these terrifying experiences. Percruor, I'm a bloodbedamned dreadnought pilot, and I'm afraid of my own mind!

Perhaps I shall have to learn to be...content in my place in a meaningless universe.

Damn Aria.

Recorder off.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Point

Vaden paces aboard the large state quarters of a new ship, Raziel's Paragon, as he talks to an eleven man crew. He appears to be finishing up a briefing. The eleven men depart, leaving Vaden alone in the quarters. After pacing for awhile, he pulls out a bottle of Gallente wine, drinking straight from the bottle. The label says Luminaire-YC 82, a pricey vintage. He drinks haphazardly, dribbling wine down his chin and wiping it away with a broad swipe of his arm. He quickly empties the bottle, setting it clumsily on the desk.

Recorder on. What the hell is the point? I walked with Aria outside of the Gate the other night. We talked, about many things, and that damned woman did what she always does. She pointed out my flaws. I don't like that. She also had to point out that she and I were alone among the pilots of Ghost Festival in one regard. We always ask, "why?"

I am an Amarrian. I am also a Sani Sabik. My faith centers on the advancement of the self. The pursuit of power by those with the will and the strength to take it. The laws of God, the laws of nature, survival of the fittest, the dominion of the weak by the strong. But why? What the hell is the point? I'm on board my second capital ship, an Archon I've named after Raziel, a fine examplar of the Sani Sabik. I've amassed so much wealth, so much power. I feel it all amounts to nothing. Immortal I may be, but sooner or later, my brainscan will fail. Some disease or catastrophe will arise that wipes us all out. Maybe we're just puppets to some Jovian play, and they'll launch an attack that kills us all outright. Regardless, one day, long from now, I will die, and there will be no clone to reanimate me. And there will still be no answer to "why?" Power is all temporary. Band of Brothers is proof enough of that. They held Delve for years, and one deranged director destroys the entire thing. Delve belongs to the Swarm now.

I guess I'm just beating around the issue at hand. I've lost focus in my life. I think...I feel I am missing something, or someone. I desire a legacy, although that path is looking bleaker by the day. Children are out of the question. I can't exactly form a nation, or create something with such a lasting impression that historians will remember me centuries after my bones turn to dust. I guess, in the end, my thirst for power will have to be the end of my means, instead of the means to my end. Taken that way, I guess there is no point at all.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Vaden sits on board his Revelation, his estate desk empty as its previous clutter has been strewn across the room. His breathing is fast and shallow, and sweat beads down his face. He holds a bottle of Drop in his hand, tapping it lightly on the desk.

I thought I could handle it. Aria had helped me. I thought I was fixed. I thought I could handle going through once more. Everyone else has gone in. Why can't I? I'm better than them, damn it. I'm the damn fleet Marshal. I have more experience in my balding hair than half the folks have in their whole damn bodies. I had to perform. I had to live up to expectations. I had to go back in. The promise of reward. The promise of adventure. The promise of killing my demons.

Vaden's breath falters, as if he's holding back tears. He pauses, trying to control himself.

What are the odds? How many damn systems? How God forsaken is this galaxy? How the hell did I jump into another damn system with another damn black hole? This one was far off, wasn't affecting the ship. So why the hell am I so scared? I didn't get stuck. I wasn't even close to it. But I'm sitting here aboard my meaningless, trivial technology, cowed by nature's mistake. I can't let it affect me. I have to push on. And I can't let anyone know. God forbid what will happen if Inara finds out. But now there's talk of a larger presence in wormhole space. What am I going to do? God, what am I going to do?

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Irony of Life

Recorder on. God must be testing me. There's no other explanation for the events happening lately. Either that, or Inara's constant threats of conspiracy against me are coming to fruition...

Twelve years ago, I was a professor of laser physics at the Imperial Academy, back before we had all of us capsuleers. I didn't teach there long, only for three years, but I was there long enough to have a prized pupil or two. My favorite student was a Ni-Kunni man by the name of Oran Limm. He was a gifted student, not quite as adroit at understanding the finesse and dual nature of lasers as I, but a genius in the making none the less. One day, when he was in my office discussing the Hallan effect in light speed communications, we began discussing faith and what we called at the time, 'the heretics of the Sani Sabik.' He was a zealot, much like the rest of us in those days, and was for a harsher stance on the Blood Raiders than even the Ministry of Internal Order. I remember clearly one quote: "The depredations of heretics cannot be tolerated, anything less than total annihilation of heretics, heretics' families, and any who have conversed with heretics, is an afront to God." At the time, in my naivete, I would agreed with him. He left shortly thereafter, praising the Emperor's name, and cursing Omir.

One year ago, I received a communication via GalNet from a capsuleer with the call sign of Blood Hunter something or another. I had just joined the united, and made public my affirmations of the Sani Sabik faith. Of course, it was Oran, and he was livid. He cursed my name, cursed my family, and cursed the day he met me. It was laced with profanity, definitely not befitting an Amarrian in good standing. We all know how new capsuleers react though, and he was not the man I knew in my academy days. He did, however, give me one bit of information I don't believe he intended to. He made mention that he worked for the Ministry of Internal Order, and had pushed for policies that he had advocated years ago. A few days ago, a notion crept into my mind.

I think one thing new capsuleers underestimate is the financial basis that many have after being plugged in for only a year or two. The few thousand ISK that my father made annually is nothing, I buy ships on whim that some continents could not afford in a few years. What they also underestimate is the network of connections that one has available, especially when you can grease those connections with lumps of ISK. I called a few people that would still speak with me in Carthum and the Navy, some with more...liberal views. As God would have it, Oran took it personally when I turned to the Sani Sabik. And he took his views out on my blood relatives. My previous log indicated an apathy towards the fate of my family. Oran attacked my blood. I take offense at the attack of my blood. It's a Sani Sabik thing.

Yesterday, while working in Curse for the Cartel, I stopped stationside and went about looking for some exotic foods. I also needed to visit one of the Serpentis agents and get some more Drop from him. One of the local vendors had a particular Amarrian delicacy, long-broiled loin, cooked so long the meat practically melts in your fingertips. While enjoying this particular repast, I stopped by a slave auction. Nothing like what we had in Amarr, but the Cartel traffics in, well, everything, and the Serpentis sometimes need people to test new drugs on...The auction was going along smoothly, almost finished, and I was heading for my next assignment with the Cartel, when I was stopped in my tracks. The auctioneer yelled, "Next is Ni-Kunni, male, 29 years old, Ministry of Internal Order, and captured capsuleer." How he was stupid enough to be caught outside his pod, I have no idea. I turned, and lo and behold, Oran Limm stood on the dais, hands and feet shackled, hair shaved, and his defiant eyes kept to the floor by the chain around his neck. None of the Serpentis apparently felt like bothering with a capsuleer, as my bid of 500 ISK was enough to purchase him. 500 ISK for the man who attacked my blood.

I gave the auctioneer my Empire based location, and told him to ship the slave to me there, as I would be returning via jump clone. The man agreed. It cost me more to ship him via the Cartel than it did to purchase him. Now, here I am, a bottle of my favorite Gallente red wine in one hand, a knife in the other, and a very frightened Ni-Kunni man who should have paid better attention in capsuleer training bound to my sacrifical stone. It is now his fate to be slain, his blood spilt as it was long ago, in the rituals that God intended, for my own 'heretical' sacrifices. Such is the irony of life.

The voice stops, but footsteps can be heard walking away, and a mild chanting beginning. Curses are weakly uttered, interrupted abruptly by screams of pain and denial. The screams momentarily subside, replaced by pitiful moans, and the cycle begins again. It continues for an hour, Vaden infrequently chuckling once at something Oran likely whispered. Finally, one hears the sound of death as the knife plunges into Oran's heart. Vaden, forgetting the recorder was on, leaves the room, the recorder with only one sound to pick up: the gentle, rhythmic drip of blood onto the floor.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fanning the fire

Recorder on. Michel is much too flamboyant. While being somewhat flirty with my new squadron commander and Templar captain, Illias Obelar, words were said and Michel thrust himself behind Illias and...

Vaden pauses, pouring a drink, and taking a long draw.

Michel will have to learn that non capsuleers have their pride, and Illias is not exactly a kind, forgiving man. Why else would I hire him to be my second in command? I'll have to let him take the squadron out for a fight to slake his bloodlust. Else Michel might find himself alone and out of his pod faced by an angry Amarrian with a gun and a grudge.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Curse, drama, and my own personal style

Recorder on. And I thought Rancer had drama. If the current trends continue, I will be the next one on Inara's rack of pain and pleasure. Vince, Kimochi, and Kelsy all in their own love triangle, Milo and Celia always having their 'cute' little dates in the Skyhook. I don't know about Myrhial's love life yet, thank God, but I'm sure she's going to be lin bed with someone in the corporation. Good thing Inara and I have a strictly platonic relationship. The drama has become so pervasive that I feel my work for the Cartel in Curse to be near a vacation. While here in Curse, I talked to Vince via our personal GalNet server. The man is sick and violent. Not a good combination, especially for fleet operations which are now my responsibility. Fortunately, he has been relieved from active duty. He said he was seeking treatment in Goinard, I hope he cures his ills and the corp can return to a minimal level of drama.

Vaden laughs, a chortle filled with sarcasm and exasperation.

Here I am, complaining about drama, when I have my own personal drama as well. An old friend of Inara and me, Fear Incarnate, has been hanging around the Skyhook. Apparently the bars in Rancer aren't hospitable for him. He's mentioned wanting to join the Ghosts. I can't help but be suspicious. He's always been more muscle than brains, and the directorate of the united know this. Inara thinks he's here to either kill us or keep tabs on us. I don't know. I gave Inara some drugs to hopefully make him talk, but she couldn't get him to ingest it. I'll have to be careful around him. As I said, what he lacks in intellect he makes up for in his brute power. His Kronos is especially worrisome, this corp doesn't have the capability to destroy him in that ship easily. Inara and I might have to bring out Echidna's Daughter and Cyric's Immolation to deal with him.

At least things are going well in my role as Fleet Marshal. Leading one of my small gangs, just Milo, Vince, and Mortis in advanced frigates, we came across a man asleep in a Badger-class industrial while he was unanchoring his privately owned station. We destroyed him, and his pod, and took his POS and fuel. He conveniently had strontium clathrates and helium, both of which I was lacking in for Cyric's Immolation. I sent a message to him thanking him for his contribution to the Cartel's infrastructure. I have yet to receive word back. Perhaps he is still sleeping in his clone station.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Recorder on. Well, it's been an interesting twenty four hours...The beginning was when Yishal kept us in the fight against the Amarr loyalists despite being heavily outnumbered and outgunned. Naturally, all of our ships were destroyed, many crewman lost, all that. In the aftermath of the battleship losses Inara and I suffered in Huola, Yish and I had a 'talk.' Her talk began with zeal and fervor, and indignation. I argued my case and corrected her, and I think it was then that she began to lose some confidence in herself as a commander. My experience intimidates her, I think. I've been here less than two weeks, I'm not here to walk in and take things over.

That being said, she needed some guidance in leading a fleet of advanced cruisers, something that is a bit beyond her experience. I pointed out many tactics, and suggested altering her style of leadership. Next thing I know, I'm the new God-be-damned Fleet Marshal! Weight of experience, and that long list in my record with the united. While I can't say I don't relish the authority and responsibility, I almost think it is too soon. I don't wish to be seen as a usurper.

He sighs heavily and stays silent for a few minutes.

Well, so much for leisure, I've got to organize combat training and unit cohesion exercises.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Christening the Stone

Recorder on. There was an interesting encounter in the Skyhook two nights back. Aria, for whom I have a special fondness due to her willingness to help me after the black hole incident, was confronted by her cousin and, from my understanding of it, challenged to a duel. Not surprisingly, calling out the damn Herald of Ghost Festival in their own damn bar is not a very bright move. Naturally, after Aria departed to prepare herself...trouble started. In my short time in the family, I've learned that Vincent is as lacking in subtlety as Fear Incarnate. At least, I would call a Hail round to the knee lacking in subtlety. In the end, it doesn't matter the circumstances of her cousin being sent to the infirmary. What is important, at least for this log, is that my sacrificial stone could finally be sanctified.

The sound of pages flipping, as if from an old leather bound book, can be heard.

And the sacrifices shall be drawn upon the stone of the living rock, carved from the bosom of Amarr, and sanctified by the blood of the living.

There is a single loud thump as the book closes.

This reading instructs those of the faith in the proper preparations of the sacrificial stone. Now, granted, the Sani Sabik began when interstellar travel was not as... sophisticated. For those of us that are unable to take stone from Amarr herself, the meaning of this passage indicates the world we live on, not Amarr specifically. One of the first things I did was carve my stone from the face of Tzvi IV. The only thing remaining was to sanctify it with the blood of the living. In a comparison to Aria's belief concerning our own existence, some Sani Sabik, unlike the vile Blood Raiders, view capsuleer blood as a tainted blood for sanctification. It is not our original blood, and thus isn't pure.

That brings us to Aria's cousin, Jihun, I believe his name was. While he is a capsuleer, he was still in his natural born body. His blood was still pure. And when Vince's pistol blew his leg off, there was certainly enough blood around for my sanctification. I'll not mention it to Aria, as I don't think she exactly approves of the Sani Sabik, or at least would not appreciate her cousin being part of the human sacrifices that will be held upon that stone. But after quickly collecting some of his blood, my new sacrificial stone was duly prepared. Now, all that I need is a human sacrifice.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Checking In

Vaden sits behind a stately desk while he peruses the news on GalNet. In one hand he holds a bottle of wine, drinking straight from the bottle. The other hand holds a small bottle of a clear liquid, stoppered, that he lightly taps with his index finger.

Recorder on. Where should I begin? It began when I moved a jump clone to Curse, to perform duties as fits a loyalist to the Cartel. I was soon assigned an agent who had some work needing to be done. Wishing to prove myself, I quickly smashed the meager enemies I was assigned to kill. Granted, such missions are more for a novice, not a hardened killer such as myself, but I am still untested by the Cartel. Such is life.

In the constellation of Elysium, there was a small star gate that had been overrun by DED operatives. I was tasked with destroying them so the drugs and flesh trafficked by the Cartel could continue moving. My only foray into drugs ended...disastrously, and I am not one for vices of the flesh. But it pays the bill, and my duty was to clear that gate. The fact that I was killing DED operatives made it all the sweeter. I dispatched them quickly, my Retribution class assault frigate making short work of the third rate officers. While scanning the wrecks for survivors and modules, I found one that had not been completely destroyed by the fire of my lasers. In it was the ship pilot, barely alive in a quickly depressurizing cockpit. I retrieved him, and also retrieved some of his ship logs.

Then things got interesting. The pilot, obviously a non capsuleer, had pulled up my record on his computers when his allies were being slaughtered. It had the standard information, the list of thousands I had killed on DED record. However, it had also cross referenced with my record in the Empire. The record on me held little of consequence. But it also contained information on my family. I found I had some questions for the surviving pilot. The pilot, Joma Takale, a Deteis man, was lying unconscious in my cargo bay. I cared little for his health, but I did get him to an infirmary when I arrived back at the dock. I checked in with my agent and told him I'd be needing to return to the Empire. I don't think he cared. One capsuleer is as good as another to him, I imagine, and their are others to replace me. I requested a small amount of goods from him before departing. I then turned my attention to the pilot.

Joma was cognizant, barely. I gave him some adrenaline to wake him up. He was terrified, of course. Being within the belly of a capsuleer controlled ship that just demolished your fleet is a terrifying experience. He resisted, briefly, but some of the drugs I bought from my agent had a way of loosening tongues. He confirmed my suspicions. As the most wanted man to ever be born in Youl, there were numerous agents working for the Empire in collaboration with the DED to apprehend or assassinate me. As I live outside of their influence, it was difficult for them to attack me directly. A while ago, the MIO began a despicable plan. If they cannot go to me, they would do what they could to get me to come to them. They attacked my family.

My father, my mother, my brothers and my sister. My cousins, aunts, uncles, ex-wife...all were arrested and charged with treason three months ago. They had hoped that I would learn of their predicament and turn myself in to set them free. What they didn't account for was my lack of interest in Amarrian news while I lived in Sinq Laison, and that all of their messengers would be destroyed before being able to deliver the news to me in person. Joma told me that he had heard about the task force assigned to apprehending me. Many operatives had died in Rancer or the surrounding area, and were frustrated at their failure of killing me while in high sec. The DED wanted me to suffer, and the MIO was more than willing to oblige. They killed everyone. Every single person in my family.

Upon learning this, I killed Joma. He was dead when I destroyed his ship, he had just been breathing a bit longer. I returned to Tzvi via jump clone and checked the records on board station personally. It confirmed what Joma had said. That the MIO had killed everyone. Now I sit here, a bottle of wine half gone in one hand, and a bottle of Drop in the other. They killed my family. And I honestly do not care. I felt no rage, no grief. Just a dull resignation. My family was dead, and I didn't shed a tear. That apathy scares me most of all. I knew I had disconnected from humanity upon becoming a capsuleer. But I had not realized I had disconnected from my family. All I can think is that I have the Ghosts, and that they are more my family than my father and mother ever were. And, by God, I've only been here five days. I can't think about it anymore.

Vaden stops speaking, but the quiet of the recorder is interrupted only by the subtle 'drip...drip' of Drop being applied to a headband.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homeward Bound

Vaden stands in contemplation aboard his Revelation, Cyric's Immolation, considering the sequence of events that led him here, back to the Empire. Already one of the most hated Amarrian capsuleers, he was less an embarassment to the Empire while residing in Rancer, far away from his home system of Youl. It had been over a year since he had stepped foot aboard a station inside the borders of mother Amarr. Just weeks before, it was a change he had not even considered possible. But now...

Recorder on. It has been three days since I left Rancer. To suddenly uproot from what I had made my home has been somewhat traumatic; fortunately Inara, as always, came with me. My journey from Rancer to Tzvi was not without it's own little personal drama. Aria says in the scheme of things, the universe does not give a damn about me. But I do. For posterities sake, whenever God claims me home and these musings are released to the rest of the world, I'd like my story to be told from my perspective, even if few people read it. By the blood, the only ones who will ever read this will likely be Ministry of Internal Order, who will of course deem it heretical and to be destroyed immediately.

Although I could not know it at the time, it all began when a fellow Amarrian, an unsavory man by the name of Lothar, left The United. He had been a director, one of the highest ranking men in the corp. His departure was not without it's scandal. It had come shortly after hostilities with our long time friends and allies, the Neo Spartans. Some feared that he was too close to them, and as whispers became shouts, he left in an angry storm. No matter how repulsive his personal demeanor, I counted him a friend, and maintained cordial communications with him. This was done over private channels, but somehow the right hand of Katie Door, Liiza Valora, intercepted the communiques and turned her suspicions to me. Although I had served faithfully for a year, none of my protestations were heeded, and I was soon accounted to be a security risk. Liiza is...not the most diplomatic of personages. She is rude, vulgar, uncaring, crass, and completely inept at dealing with people. However, she was also well connected, having many friends in null-sec alliances in her nearly five years of being a capsuleer. I, having no where near the political connections, was in a bad position.

I must digress. Earlier, I made mention of Aria. That would be Aria Jenneth, a member of Ghost Festival, a corporation of capsuleers loyal to the Angel Cartal and likened to a family. As of two weeks prior to this recording, I had spoken to her regarding an ill-fated venture into a wormhole. The journey deposited me within sensor range of a black hole, the most terrifying experience I have ever faced. When I, the consummate loner, was forced to ask for assistance from my fellow capsuleers to overcome the psychological effects of such an encounter, Aria Jenneth was the first to volunteer. I had been on friendly terms with Ghost Festival for some time, but I had not ever considered joining the Family. Until three days ago. Disillusioned with what I had once called 'the dream of Rancer,' I contacted Kimochi Rendar, now my commander, about joining the family. To my surprise, Kimochi, Aria, Vincent, and Nephilim were all excited to have Inara and I join. With a new home, a new family, prepared for us, all that remained was to join them in Tzvi. In Amarr. My first home.

Back to The United. With suspicions concerning my loyalties and allegiance growing, my only option was to leave before I was incarcerated. Inara, who had long ago grown tired of what she described as 'horrible business practices,' had apparently been waiting for me to make up my mind, because she had an evacuation plan already in motion. Our ships and equipment was packed, with utmost care, into her Chimera. Now, all that remained was to wait for an opportunity to egress. As God would have it, that very night, Liiza herself took an expedition into Heimatar for the regular activity of murder and piracy. With no guard in Rancer to note our escape, all that was required was a few ISK to docking hands to keep quiet, and a call to a few markers to light cynosural fields for us along the way. Within two hours, the only thing left to us in Rancer were old friends and broken dreams. We had made our way safely to Tzvi, all our crews, staff, and of course, all of Inara's planetside holdings. Vincent Pryce was the first to greet us, and his warm welcome upon our arrival only reaffirmed what we already knew: we were finally home.