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.