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Tag: darac rin

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 Response

A response came, sooner than I expected. Part of me is surprised, and yet…better the devil I know than to have to seek out one I don’t.

It said,

Mz Eionell,

I completely understand that there is a separation between personal and corporate dealings. I am more than happy to do business with an individual who is generally speaking, held in good financial standing.

Please find an invoice attached. I will do my best to procure this item for you within the next week. Further instructions for transfer will follow shortly.

If you have any further queries, please let me know.

Regards…

The invoice was large, but after I considered who I am dealing with and what I have asked for, as well as what could have happened instead of this response, it’s not unreasonable. I’m actually quite pleased…and even a bit relieved. I might actually get my hands on this thing…

It’s a frightening prospect. But…he deserves it. He does.

All I can do now is wait and prepare.


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.


The Last Straw

I’ve been thinking about the intruder. He managed to disable two of the perimeter turrets, land a small ship out in the forest, and clubbed one of Bataav’s commandos nearly to death. They found Hayato left for dead in some underbrush. Thankfully, he’ll recover.

It was Darac Rin, of course. And while we still aren’t certain where this bastard calls home every night, it’s long past time we did something more about it.

This incident was all I needed to decide to push ahead with the idea I’ve been mulling over regarding how to deal with him. The last straw, I suppose. Suddenly, going to the lengths I’ve been considering doesn’t seem so heinous or drastic a measure anymore, and I’m okay with that.

What goes around, comes around.


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.


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.”


Botched

I botched a meeting yesterday between myself and James Syagrius. That I had all but decided not to pursue my offer to RECLT to join IPI is beside the point—the meeting shouldn’t have gone the way it did regardless.

I should have listened to Bataav and postponed it. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind and trying to force myself to do it anyway simply resulted in…that. But my desire to…I don’t know, somehow prove myself by being available…overrode my better judgment. “Duty,” I said. Common sense is what I should have thought of.

Almost like when my gut tells me I shouldn’t undock but I do it anyway and come home in a pod. This wasn’t quite the same thing…but there’s a reason Bataav is actually the diplomat. I should have listened. I have a lot to learn.

Another photo came yesterday. I’d like to blame it for how I acted later. Maybe that’s true in a way but I also feel like it shouldn’t matter. I think to myself, The Suresha would never have ended up in the situation I did. If anything he would have put James on the back foot, not the other way around. I can’t imagine James would have dared admonish him, either. “Young lady,” he called me. I wasn’t a president, not even Isha. Just a child who needed scolding.

I haven’t slept. I couldn’t, not after all that. The photo… I have no idea what it’s a picture of. All the same, it’s terrible and it scares the hell out of me for what it could be.

A lot is coming at me at once and some is of my own doing. All I can hope for is the strength to get through it all. This isn’t the way I want things to be.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Right?


Visual Omens – The Fourth

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

Intaki V – Moon 5 – Astral Mining Inc. Refinery
IPI Offices

The cider’s aroma wafted out of the cup as Sakaane poured from the pot Karan had waiting for her. The liquid was a pale coral color and smelled of berries. She’d just taken a careful sip of the hot liquid and was about to sit down at her desk when her aide poked his head into the office.

Suprab heti, Madam President,” he said. “There’s a call coming in from Tycho Antus, COO of Reclamation Technologies. Do you wish to take it now?” He glanced at his datapad. “You also wanted me to remind you of this morning’s appointment.”

“Thank you, Karan.” Her nose wrinkled; faintly, despite the fact her office was spotless, she was certain she could still detect the salty odor of fire suppression foam, which the cider and the room’s incense wasn’t strong enough to cover. It reminded her of her last encounter with James Syagrius and she felt a small pinch of anxiety in her gut. “I’ll take the call in the conference hall.”

Picking up her own datapad, Sakaane carried it and the cup through to the meeting room, which was decidedly free of offensive scents. It wasn’t really a hall in sense one might expect; though it could host up to fifty guests at a time, in standard lighting it was drab grey and seemed alarmingly empty save for a few simple chairs placed haphazardly here and there. Behind a door, nearly hidden in the panels of the wall, was a small storeroom containing a collapsible table and folding chairs which could be brought out for guests to use. Usually, these things were left packed away, and Sakaane made no move to retrieve them, opting instead to set her cup and datapad down on a small side table beside the closest chair.


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.

Bataav took the photo away from me. His people found a thumb print on it, placed over my mother’s soundlessly screaming face. This is the sender’s calling card, his message to me.

Of course I know now who the sender must be but I was still sick when Bataav confirmed it. After months of searching databases, to have a record suddenly turn up for Darac Rin (and then quietly vanish some hours after the query was made) was deliberate; he’s playing games with me, telling us that soon he’ll be coming for me like he did for Mom…

Bataav has been very quiet and still, even more so than the way he was when Darac assaulted me at the holoreel convention. I slept for a while to calm my nerves and when I woke I thought he had gone, but he’d been sitting in the corner of our bedroom the entire time, watching over me. I didn’t notice him at all until he finally spoke and startled me nearly into my next incarnation.

All he said to me was, “It’s time to take the fight to him. I will train you.”


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.