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Tag: vacation

Hour of the Wolf

Intaki Prime – South Hemisphere – Drahaana City
Eionell Esatate

A bead of sweat gathered on her forehead where it rested against the pillar, eventually seeping down into her eyebrow through stray hairs plastered to her skin. Then it slipped out, rolling past the corner of her eye and over her cheek like a tear.

The bead lingered near her jaw line, which began to itch as the droplet slowly evaporated into the still air and roused Sakaane from her musing. She sat up and wiped the droplet away. Her forehead burned where it had touched the pillar; even now, in the middle of the night, the smooth white stone still radiated heat soaked up from the sun’s red rays that day. The steps she sat on were similarly warm. It had been an unusually hot day despite autumn in the southern hemisphere being typically cool and dry.

A spot of light caught her eye, bobbing between the leaves of ferns growing just to her left. The firefly came closer, its luminescence weakening as it entered the meager pool of light filtering over Sakaane. A small lamp in the front hall was lit, its light barely reaching outside the house through the draped window beside the door. Other than that and the moons overhead, Sakaane was in the dark.

The bug settled on a flower an arm’s length from her. She sat still, watching it nuzzle the eventide blossom, its rump dimmed almost to nothing while it fed. After a few moments the firefly leapt back into the air, its light flaring bright, and disappeared into the night.

Holoreel Convention

I’ve been very busy since the election. Transitioning into the presidency hasn’t been as smooth as I would have liked. The more I dig into things, the more I see how much work there is to do and how much it’s been neglected by others. I’ve had trouble making contact with a certain portion of the council, while the rest… Maybe it’s because my style of leadership is just so different than the Suresha’s…or maybe the active councilors grew complacent with the relative inactivity of the alliance? Maybe a bit of both, I’m not sure. I want to get the gears turning and put IPI back into motion again but feel like I’m meeting resistance at every turn.

Njal tells me being in a situation like this is like getting a garden going again after it’s gone fallow. Before anything new can be planted, the weeds and rocks must first be pulled and cast away. This is dirty, hard labor and the more hands that dig into it, the faster the soil will be ready and the seeds will flourish. I thought it was a good analogy and as the newcomer I don’t mind pitching in alongside the councilors to get things done. I’d like them to see I’m not just here to point my finger and give orders.

My enthusiasm hasn’t been all that well-received. Layla in particular continues to be hostile and I’m frustrated by our lack of progress. I spend more time defending myself to her, almost as if I have to justify my existence as the duly-elected president, than actually doing anything productive. Bataav has been caught in the middle between us and we’re all frazzled. Well. Bataav and I are frazzled. Layla almost seems to enjoy the infighting. It becomes difficult to face out to the public with confidence when I wonder if I might get stabbed in the back if I turn away for too long.

To get this off our minds and spend some time to ourselves, Bataav and I made the trek to hisec for the Impetus holoreel convention. I also hope the break will have given Layla a chance to reflect so that when we all return to the council in the next few days we can start off on the right foot.

Holoreel Convention – Part 7

Many thanks to Bataav for his valuable input and written contributions to the Holoreel RP.
An ebook of all seven parts of this ficlet can be found here.

Dodixie IX – Moon 20 – Federation Navy Assembly Plant

Sakaane slipped quietly back into bed and pulled the sheet up around herself. All the blankets were in a tangled heap on the floor, and while the room wasn’t actually cold, the air felt slightly chilled on her skin, still warm from the shower she’d just taken. She shifted onto her side, propping herself up on an elbow and resting her chin in one hand so she could watch Bataav sleep.

A single bead of water escaped from her still-damp hair and slipped between her shoulder blades, making her shiver. Shaking her head slightly, she reached back to wipe the moisture away; the movement brought the chronometer on his side of the bed into view, just ticking over the hour. The morning was nearly gone.

She quickly looked back to his profile, quiet and peaceful in slumber, and banished anxious thoughts about what tomorrow and the following days might bring.

He must have felt her watching him because he stirred and carefully cracked open one eye, then the other. A smile tugged at his lips as their gaze met and she felt her heart flutter the way it always did when he looked at her.

“Hi, sleepyhead,” she teased, reaching out to brush her fingers through his hair and stroke his forehead. “You dozed.”

His smile became a grin and he reached for her. “I can’t imagine why I was tired.”

Holoreel Convention – Part 6

Many thanks to Bataav for his valuable input and written contributions to the Holoreel RP.
An ebook of all seven parts of this ficlet can be found here.

Dodixie IX – Moon 20 – Federation Navy Assembly Plant

Bataav’s arms were still wrapped protectively around Sakaane when her voice woke him. There were no words, just notes of a song escaping from her randomly when she exhaled. He listened a while, eyes closed, and hoped it meant her subconscious had worked its way through the prior day’s events.

He carefully shifted back to have a look at her. She was sound asleep, her honey blonde hair tussled and loose everywhere. The cures on her face had done their work and dissipated overnight: no trace of bruising remained. Lifting the blanket, he examined her side. In the end the doctor had applied a second, more advanced triage cure which picked up and carried on where the first-aid kit’s epidermal patch had been inadequate for the task. The wound was nearly gone; a pale pink line remained and even as he watched it seemed to fade. In short order it would heal completely.

Good as new, he thought, tucking the blanket back around her shoulders and brushing his lips against her forehead. On the outside at least.

She stirred, her green eyes blinking sleepily awake.

“Hey you,” he said, his voice low. “How are you feeling?”

Sakaane’s head was full of remnants of jumbled dreams and her body felt stiff. She stretched to ease away the discomfort while remaining within his embrace. “Better. Tired still,” she said honestly and yawned. “What time is it?”

“No idea. Late I think. Did you know you talk in your sleep?”

Holoreel Convention – Part 5

Many thanks to Bataav for his valuable input and written contributions to the Holoreel RP.
An ebook of all seven parts of this ficlet can be found here.

Dodixie IX – Moon 20 – Federation Navy Assembly Plant

The first panel of the day did not begin until 1100, so Bataav and Sakaane were afforded the opportunity to enjoy a lazy start to their day in her quarters before venturing out together for breakfast.

“The Economy” was a large presentation in which analysts from across New Eden discussed how the various markets in the cluster interacted with one another and how capsuleers were usually its driving force. They used terms like “pilot versus pilot” and “pilot versus everything else” to distinguish between conflicts where capsuleers shot each other and conflicts where capsuleers went after baseliner space-faring groups (or found those groups coming for them) and the resulting number of ships produced to replaced those that were destroyed.


Holoreel Convention – Part 4

Many thanks to Bataav for his valuable input and written contributions to the Holoreel RP.
An ebook of all seven parts of this ficlet can be found here.

Dodixie IX – Moon 20 – Federation Navy Assembly Plant

Sakaane looked up to see a very tall, black-haired woman passing by in the line of people still filing into the room. She wore combat fatigues and a military vest, and paused directly in front of Bataav at the sound of her name, looking first at him and then to Sakaane standing immediately beside him.

After a moment of cool scrutiny which took in everything about ILF pilots including the convention IDs hanging around their necks, recognition flashed through her blue eyes. Sanya stepped out of the line and squeezed into a spot beside them, offering her hand in greeting.

The trio wasn’t afforded an opportunity to say more than their hellos, for just then the doors to the room were closed and the presenter approached the podium.

He was something of a roly-poly Gallente gentleman, short, with tousled black hair and beard. He coughed and cleared his throat a great deal while getting his papers in order. The crowd in the room settled down as he began to speak.

Holoreel Convention – Part 3

Many thanks to Bataav for his valuable input and written contributions to the Holoreel RP.
An ebook of all seven parts of this ficlet can be found here.

Dodixie IX – Moon 20 – Federation Navy Assembly Plant

The next morning’s alarm was a rude awakening. Bataav slowly rubbed his eyes. The night before had ended as another late one but he smiled widely as he remembered it, turning to lay on his side and stroking his fingers down Sakaane’s back as she sat up and smiled at him.

“Hmmm. I might be looking forward to today but I wish it didn’t have to start so early,” he said.

Sakaane padded her way to the small bathroom and looked back over her shoulder. “Not a morning person, then?”

“No. I like bed too much.” He raised an eyebrow suggestively.

She ducked into the bathroom so he wouldn’t hear her giggle. It was refreshing to see this side of her otherwise quiet and somewhat mysterious friend, even if he only let his guard down like this in private.

Soon enough, washed and dressed, they navigated a myriad of station corridors to the conference center, spotting others along the way clearly attending the same event.

They followed throngs of people filtering toward the convention center, wondering as they walked if any of these capsuleers might be people they’d previously flown with…or previously fired upon. A few times Bataav nudged Sakaane to point out those whose corporation logos were emblazoned across the front or back of their shirts or jackets. Most of them were, to them, pirates: Rote Kapelle, Beyond Divinity, Wildly Inappropriate…

Holoreel Convention – Part 2

Many thanks to Bataav for his valuable input and written contributions to the Holoreel RP.
An ebook of all seven parts of this ficlet can be found here.

Dodixie VI

The late hour conspired against them: all the shops they passed were closed.

“I suppose this is what we get for wandering around town in the middle of the night,” Sakaane said. “I thought these ‘Icelanders’ were known for staying up late to party?”

“It’s the middle of the week.” Bataav shrugged. “What now?”

She turned on the spot, looking up and down the very empty streets. The city was eerily quiet; no people or vehicles about, no sirens in the distance. Not at all what she expected from the island’s largest metropolitan area. “What time is it?”

“About…0315 local.” At her expression, he grinned. “What? Mine was the late flight.”

She laughed. “I knew I shouldn’t have taken that nap earlier. It’ll take some doing to get used to the time difference between station and here. Right. We’re closer to my hotel now than yours, and the tour leaves from mine in about five hours. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the lounge there will still be open.”

They set off again, shortly arriving in the Nordica’s lobby and the VOX bar, but there, too, things were closed for the night.

“Perhaps room service?” Bataav suggested. “If you don’t mind. I’m starving.”

Holoreel Convention – Part 1

Many thanks to Bataav for his valuable input and written contributions to the Holoreel RP.
An ebook of all seven parts of this ficlet can be found here.

Dodixie IX – Moon 20 – Federation Navy Assembly Plant

Obsidian Dawn slid gently into Bay 8. The assault frigate’s glassy black hull reflected the interior of the Gallente station as it approached its berth, finally coming to rest above the pod gantry, which automatically commenced extraction of the ship’s large black egg-shaped capsule.

Suspended inside, Sakaane felt the slight jolt which accompanied the confirmation the pod was now connected securely to her station cabin’s catwalk and she could disconnect at her leisure. Squishing her toes through the pod’s goo one last time, she sent the command and waited to find herself among air and light once more.

Somehow, no matter how many times she’d done it, disconnection always felt like being flushed down a giant toilet. The worst part was the sudden sense of being small, of being limited to flesh and blood and bone. Mortal.

The pod split open and ejected her onto the steel landing with a splash of neuro-embryonic containment fluid. This drained away, leaving her wet, slimy and barefoot on the cold metal. The implants in her back tingled slightly as always; she resisted the urge to scratch and easily ascended the stairs to the balcony, peeling off her black podsuit as she went. Later, showered and dressed, she stood before the full-length mirror and decided today to leave her honey-blonde hair down, curling in soft waves around her face and shoulders. After all, she was on vacation.

A soft beep from a nearby panel indicated her personal affects were scheduled for transfer from her ship and the small crew had disembarked. They were free to enjoy themselves for the week; it was unlikely she’d hear from any of them before they turned up again for duty the following Monday.


In a few short weeks I’m off to Dodixie with Bataav to attend the 7th Annual Impetus Holoreel Convention. I’ve never been before but I’ve heard a lot about it.

I know I’m looking forward to it, if the dream I had last night is anything to go by. It’s actually been almost four years since my last proper vacation.

I’ll arrive a few days before Bataav. Being a Pasha and ILF’s foremost diplomat he has a number of things to take care of before he can slip away. This is all right, as I’ll have some time to settle in and get my bearings before he arrives.

I’m really very nervous about meeting him in person. I hope it goes well.