2011-02-20

Ascention of the Amazon - Chapter 3

The mingled sounds and smells of the arena's concourse brought a frown to Pious Newelle's face as he moved through the crowd.  Seldom did he go planet side of Karan III, and even less so for personal affairs.

“This is the last time I will ever have to set foot here,” he reminded himself, the thought making his surroundings less repulsive.

As he moved, the mix of the cluster's lessor races and lessor station parted to give him, and his Imperial Navy uniform, a clear path.  Turning a corner and descending the stairs into the arena proper, he looked out over the gathering audience. All of them, except for he, eager to witness the spectacle of female combatants engaged in hand to hand combat. Pious walked along side the large mat which a preliminary bout was about to begin on. He took little notice of the Khanid and Jin-Mei at his sides as he sunk into one of the surprisingly comfortable V.I.P. Seats.  Though his eyes were on the two women pummeling each other with martial grace, his thoughts were on the future, of what he must do, of what would be.

Soon a well built Ni-Kunni woman would take her place in the center of the arena, and he would be nothing but proud.  He would make her dreams come true, this unlikely daughter of his, and in doing so would strip her of her victory she so wished for this night.

“She must leave this behind with no thoughts of returning,” he assured himself.

Yet he was troubled.  He swallowed hard at the pang of selfish guilt he felt, remembering the happenings of years past that had paved this way.

* * *

“Go in there, child!” Pious commanded.  The girl looked terrified, her younger sibling having come out of the room moments before, wailing as if someone had severed a limb. But Pious had no sympathy for this dirt covered, near starved, Ni-Kunni girl of about nine years. He looked down at her and with authority pointed into the med lab where a technician stood waiting.  She looked back at him with wide eyes for but a moment before she obeyed.

“Standard slave screening for this one too, sir?” asked the technician.

Pious responded with a curt nod, turned away, and strode away looking over the papers that were thrust upon him earlier in the day.

“What am I going to do with two young slaves? Slaves cost money...” he muttered as he flipped through the pages, trying to come to terms with his new responsibilities.  He waited for the technician to finish with the girl.  The boy had been shuffled away to another room to contain his crying, though his muffled sounds still could be heard.

“I hear that you have returned with more in your troop than when you left this morning, Major Newelle.”

Pious stood quickly to attention, “Yes, sir.” He handed the papers to his superior.  “I have been given two Ni-Kunni children by a desperate mother, sir. She must have been unable to care for them, I had seen them begging by one of the mines, sir. Days ago the girl had been beaten in an alley, luckily we happened upon her and scared off her attacker.”

“Hmpf. Have you any slaves back home, Major?”

“No, sir. Frankly, I'm uncertain what to do with these two.  My family has but modest means. The costs to care for, train, and educate...”

“Sell one, or both if you feel the drain would still be too much. Either here or on the home-worlds, it would be a nice bonus for a man with a young family.”

“I will consider that, sir, thank you.”

Both men turned to look at the approaching technician.

“I will let you sort this out, Major.”

Pious accepted the papers back from his superior.  He and the technician gave the man proper respects as he sauntered off then faced each other.

“Major Newelle, both the boy and girl check out.  They are malnourished, of course, and have some parasites we will remove momentarily. Other than that, they are healthy enough. The girl had a few abnormal readings, but nothing to be concerned with.”

Pious nodded as he accepted the technician's data chip report and sat back down as the technician went off to complete his work on the two children.  He plugged the data chip into his pad and began reviewing the results with a critical eye.

“If this girl is of flawed stock, I will rid myself of her here... The boy I can fetch a better price for in Amarr...” he muttered as he got to the girl's report.

A few abnormal readings, nothing to be concerned with. Pious felt a bit better having seen it himself, but something... there was something about these particular tests... what was it?

“Damn... Better to be sure she isn't going to die in transit or some such...”

He rose to his feet and found where the technician was tending to the girl.

“I want a full military diagnosis on the girl.”

* * *

The cheers of the crowd and a familiar name awoke Pious from his daydreaming.

“... and the challenger: Mitaraaaaaa Newellllllllle!!”

He looked upon the face of his daughter. The hulking Ni-Kunni stepped onto the mat and turned to each corner of the arena, giving a customary bow.

“She could win.” Pious thought to himself.

“How does she look, Father?” one of his sons, Psidias, Mitara's closest companion and training partner for the last several years called out as he arrived at the mats edge.

“I think you've both done well," Pious responded with a practiced, uncaring tone.

Psidias smiled a bit and bowed to his father.

As the announcer started the introduction of his daughters opponent, Mitara stepped off the mat as courtesy demanded.

Pious stood and met his daughter.

“Father,” she bowed with deepest respect.

“Mitara. I come with news. You will be in the Academy's next rotation.”

Mitara's face lit up and she turned to her brother with joy, he had a mixed look of sharing her happiness and confusion.

“Thank you, Father! Thank you!” She again bowed deep and smiled. Turning away from the True Amarrians she again stepped upon the mat.

Psidias looked at his father for several moments before asking quietly, “Could this have not waited until after the match?”

Pious gave his son a look, demanding to know why he was being questioned.

Psidias shifted a bit, “I know how badly she wanted to go... But we... she worked too hard for this, she needs to be here right now, not thinking about serving aboard some cruiser over Hophib!”

Pious snorted and turned his attention towards the mat, “You must learn to trust my judgment, Psidias.”

* * *

As Pious waited he rolled the possibilities over in his mind. A latent genetic defect? Bias towards anti-authority? What was it?  He knew there was something, but God help him, he could not recall.  As he heard the technician's footsteps he would no longer have to wait. Good.

He was handed a secured datapad and the technician went back to his duties.  Only Pious' equals or superiors would be able to unlock the report. The tickle in his head that something was amiss demanded to be scratched and he wasted no time pouring over the report.

As he paged through, a chuckle escaped him upon reading a section of the report. “Hmpf, not entirely pure blooded. Not what I was worried about, and not surprising among the lowest of station here at the fringes of civilization.” He continued to page, yet he found nothing to justify his reservations.

Then he looked upon two words: Capsuleer Compatible.

“What great gift has God given unto me?” Pious sputtered out in shock and sat back, staring at the wall across from his seat.

“She is worth more than I can imagine. God.... What would someone pay?”

His mind raced pondering what this Ni-Kunni girl could bring at the slave auction.

Then revelation struck.

“A capsuleer slave will bring immediate income..... A capsuleer Newelle will elevate my House for all eternity.”

* * *

Pious closed his eyes and sighed deeply as the quick, but bruised, Khanid woman avoided a crushing front kick and swung up behind Mitara with blinding speed and wrapped her arm around his daughters neck. It was only a matter of moments before Mitara was tapping out on the mat. A victory she had worked years to attain denied her. Pious loved his daughter, and seeing her fail, even if it was the desired outcome, was difficult.

Psidias watched the scene shaking his head, finding it difficult to contain his anger, “She was not herself... distracted...”

Pious removed the regret from his voice, “She must rise above this now, Psidias. Her future lies with the Navy, with the Empire.”

“Just like you, eh, Father?” Psidias made no effort to hide his feelings about how his father had sabotaged his beloved sisters bout.

Pious looked at his son, and truth resounded in his words, “No... not like me.”

END

2010-10-04

8 Months

The camera drone activates. Mitara is sitting in a simple plush chair, wearing her PIE uniform. Little else other beyond the chair can be made out in the dimly lit room. She regards the camera drone a moment before beginning...

It has been eight months since my last entry. Eight months...  So many things have changed... Some have remained constant.  I will attempt to chronicle them as best as I remember, lest the memories fade forever.

She takes a deep breath and speaks formally.

Aldrith has left the Praetoria and founded the Knights of the Merciful Crown.  He has attracted a number of pilots to his banner, many of which I feel he could do without.  First and foremost is Shalee Lianne.  I once held great hope for this pilot, but... I will speak more on her later.

Mitara raises her left hand a little bit. She glances down at it and fiddles with a ring.

After nearly a year of courting, Aldrith and I have been wed.  My name is now Mitara Newelle-Shutaq in the Book of Names, however CONCORD  records will continue to track me under my maiden name alone.

A small smile creeps onto her face and her voice softens as she stares at the ring.

It was a marvelous day, pulled from near disaster by Lord Merdaneth. Cardinal Graelyn had originally committed to performing the service, but he was detained in null sec. Lord Merdaneth agreed to stand in his stead minutes before the service was to begin.  We could not have asked for a better ceremony or more skilled officiate.

We were truly blessed.

The celebration at Mercy's Keep after the wedding is not much more than a blur to me now.  The whirlwind of people and well wishers had my head spinning. Many friends and wingmen, some acquaintances, others I have never met...

She raises an eyebrow and shakes her head slowly.

Even an enemy or two...

Her voice trails off as does her gaze. After a moment she gives a short tug on her uniform and sits upright.

I have been made an Admiral of the Praetoria. With the disappearance of Grand Inquisitor Piskonit, Admiral Blake assumed the position of interim CEO until the Grand Inquisitor's return.  Admirals Konstantinov and Lok'ri are both on indefinite  leave.  Admirals Blake and Shaikar, along with his Eminence Archbishop, saw fit to promote another Admiral given the circumstances.

I am still humbled and honored they have placed that trust in me.  It has not been without its trials, however.  The first being the reaction of Captain Fierach. A long time friend and wingman, I do sympathize with her to an extent... And I have forgiven her for her insubordinate outburst.

I owed her that.

Once.

The rift between us seems to have closed a bit in recent weeks. Time will tell if the wound fully heals.

Mitara leans back into the chair, taking a more comfortable posture.

The war rages on with no end in sight.  For myself, I am content to keep the Tribals out of our systems.  For now at least.  The toll of this war has been heavy.  My fellows and I are weary, though we will not admit it, even to ourselves at times.  I believe our Lord will remove that weariness when He deems it time for us to press forward.  I pray it will come soon, so we may be done with these heathens and the Republic will fade into nothing.

She steeples her hands in front of her and her index fingers begin tapping against one another.

Heathens, heretics, murderers, and terrorists.  May we show them the way of the righteous, and may they see enlightenment through the cleansing of hard labor and Scriptural study.  That is my prayer, many I am sure share it.

Others would consort with these scum, parade them around in front of loyal servants of the Empire, spitting on their toil and loss in servitude to the Empire, even going so far as to fornicate with them for all to see.

Mitara frowns, deep in thought, looking obviously pained.

She is a danger to us all, and mostly to my beloved Aldrith.  She has bewitched him and poisoned his mind.  And now he is gone... Gone to God knows where... While she destroys his legacy and has the audacity to place the blame on him...

While I must wait... Wait to hear when... if... my husband will return to my side...

Before it's too late...

2010-09-24

OOC: RL Vacation FTW!

Talk about storybook vacations so far. The day we got here we went down to the beach for a bit to let the kids play in the waves. Not long after there's a sea lion cruising by checking them out being crazy. Towards dusk we are starting to get ready to head back to the vacation house and 3 dolphins start poking around. The kids went nuts obviously.

Thursday we went back to the beach to make a day of it. The kids were in the water pretty much all day. Around noon or so we spotted a whale coming up and taking in some air, awesome view of the 'water spout' when it exhaled. Later on when we were starting to pack up to go get dinner we see it again. This time my wife is a quick draw on the camera and snags a couple pictures of it's tail fin.

Sea Lion-

Dolphins-

Whale-

2010-04-28

Ascension of the Amazon - Chapter 2

“C'mon, you're pushing like some kind of frumpy Caldari CEO!” Psidias snickered as he stood over his youngest sister, spotting her.

“Careful, Brother, or I may end up wrapping this barbell around your scrawny little neck,” Mitara grunted as she pressed the weighted bar over her chest. Her drenched sweat suit hid a mass of muscle, something her unusually thick frame carried with ease compared to most other teen females.  It had been six years since she had come to be a Newelle, and Psidias and herself had religiously kept up their workout regiment over that time.

“Excellent!” Psidias called out with encouragement as he helped her place the bar back on it's perch above her head.  He was three years her senior, but they had developed a bond early on.  He would tease her ruthlessly as they would compare musculature, commenting on how all the guys wish they were built as nicely as she. It was something he could do to make light of his own body, forever riddled with sickness, he had still managed to maintain some amount of tone, though it paled compared to hers.

 Mitara wiped her brow with a towel, “I'm looking forward to this weekends tourney.  I think we have a very good chance of defeating the Okuden Dojo.”

“This is the last year Sensei says you can participate in mixed classes, Mitara.  The other dojos don't think it is proper for you to be competing against boys still, no matter how well you carry yourself.  We'll have to look a lot harder for competitions on this station. What will Mother think?” he joked as he put on the kicking and hand practice pads.

“Planet-side is where the action is at, besides, Mother is busy grooming Anna,” her smirk hiding some of the hurt she felt that her mother did not think of her as worthwhile for all the normal lessons of grace and etiquette normally required of young ladies. “It is not Mitara's lot to be a proper lady, Pious, let us concentrate our efforts on the one that actually looks and acts like a woman,” she had heard these words on more than one occasion when Pious would try and challenge his wife to no avail.  She frowned and looked down for a moment at her chest that had just barely begun to bloom.

Psidias, obviously wanting his partner to attack with zeal commented, “You'll have larger bumps than those this weekend if you keep sitting on your rump, let's get to it!”  Mitara flew off the bench launching a flurry of strikes trying to get inside the guard of her brother, by God's Grace his longer reach kept her at bay.

* * *

Five late teen Amarrian girls started towards the lift, one of them addressing the lady of the house.

”We are off to the atrium now, Mother, I'll be back before dinner.”  Anna bowed the perfect amount in response to her Mother's nod of approval.  She, along with her friends, looked as examples of all that is proper, and aesthetically pleasing in Amarrian women.  Their hair done articulately, clothes and makeup modest, yet flattering enough to catch the eye.  Mitara watched their slender forms flow gracefully towards the lift with a hint of envy.  Anna stopped short of the lift and turned back to face her sister, an uncommon occurrence to say the least.

“Why don't you come with us for a change, Mitara?” Anna said with convincing honesty.  A couple of hushed snickers from her friends were silenced by a friendly wave of her hand.

Mitara nearly dropped the Naval Operations and Procedures book that belonged to her father. Her weight shifted suddenly, unbalancing the tome on her lap at her sister's address. “Umm. I don't know, Anna, I mean...”

“Nonsense, change into something...” Anna looked at her sister up and down, not entirely confident, “...something suitable, and join us.”

Mitara feeling the pressured gazes of the elder teens upon her nodded and disappeared into her room and donned one of her best church 'suits'. It was the closest thing she had to what could be considered casual dress ware, with the added illusion of making her seem less bulky.  She quickly joined the crew of girls, who all gave relatively genuine nods of approval at her selection, and they all headed out.

The atrium was an expansive green space, the only one on the station orbiting Karan VIII. It was the social hub for all residents, young and old alike.  The many tree arrangements, hedge mazes, and smattering of small ponds broke the area up nicely to give privacy to those who desired it enough.  The gathering of teens centered around one of the hedge mazes could have been mistaken for Court. All the subtleties and intrigue of the Holder's Court, practiced here, by the youth of Amarr.

Mitara followed a step or two behind the older girls as they wove their way through the crowd, stopping to mingle here and there.  She said nothing, but listened intently to all the conversations she could hear, filing away bits of information that could someday prove useful, such is the Amarrian way.  After some time, Anna and her group began to disperse, each further engaging on some rather important topic of the day, seen through a teenager's eyes anyway.  Mitara began to wander through the hedge maze, enjoying the quiet of it, having concentrated so to the voices just moments before.  It wasn't long before she came upon another group of wandering teens, three Amarr boys, about the same age as she.

The boy at the head of their formation smiled brightly at Mitara, “Salve, lovely and serene isn't it?”

Mitara smiled awkwardly back, “Indeed it is.”

The lead boy motioned to his friends who both bowed slightly to her, “May my friends and I accompany you, miss?” He chuckled a bit, “I tire of their same boring conversation.”  The other two laughed at their friends jab.

She laughed as well, trying to cover her nervousness, “How very gentlemanly of you, I'd be honored.”

Mitara joined the boys as they meandered without a care through the maze. The boys seemed quite pleased that she seemed willing to join in their talk of sports, politics, the history of some local heredity, and the less civilized races of the cluster. She actually found herself enjoying their company, something she hadn't expected.

“I still find it fascinating that to this day there are still some Ni-Kunni enslaved”, commented Hami, the first boy that spoke to her, after some time speaking of the Minmatar.

She shrugged, “I think that is due more to low station than devotion to our Lord.”

All three boys laughed, one of the others quipped, “What lowly foul station would warrant that?”

“Some kind of gutter rat I suppose!” chuckled another.

“Yes, something that crawls out of a sewer I'd imagine,” something in Hami's tone didn't sound quite right to Mitara, but she dismissed it as nothing, until he spoke again. Now his voice was full of malice and loathing, “Something that would crawl out of a sewer and try to pretend it could be Amarr!  Something like you, hmm, Mitara?”  Hami stepped in front of her, his bright smile now showing underlying dark intent.

“You will not speak to me in such a manner,” she growled back.

“I will speak to you however I wish, you Ni-Kunni trash!” Hami drew his hand back, readying to backhand her across the face. Her two palm thrusts, one to his lip, bloodying it, and the other to his chest sent him reeling back instead.  Mitara didn't register the roaring laughter coming from behind, her total focus now on Hami.

Hami cursed as he spit onto the path, his saliva mingled with blood. “You damned slave line bitch! You want to play with the boys do you? I'll wipe that damned smirk off you face, oh yes!” 

Mitara said nothing, but smoothly fell into a 'Jigotai', a defensive stance, her eyes never leaving her opponent.

Hami chuckled to his friends who were still enjoying his misfortune, “She thinks she knows a thing or two!”, his gaze set upon her, “Let's see what you really know!” He fell into a simple forward offensive stance, or 'Mae', and did so sloppily and without discipline Mitara thought to herself.

His crude strike met with a precision hip toss, landing him on his back, with a  kick to the gut for good measure. The other two Amarrian boys doubled over in laughter, slapping their knees.

Hami sprang to his feet with a new found vigor, and glared at Mitara with hate. He was so easily goaded by a simple raised eyebrow that spoke clearly, “Have you started yet?”

The one sided melee continued while the two onlookers realized their man was starting to get really hurt, at which point their laughter stopped.

Mitara had just deflected another poorly executed blow by Hami when both of her arms were caught. Not a second later did a furiously thrown right hook meet with her temple, sending her dizzily towards blackness. As the two that restrained her let her fall to the ground, she felt a splatter of spit hit her cheek and heard the laughter of all three as they walked off. “Neanderthal Ni-Kunni,” one of them said as all went silent.

* * *

She cracked her neck, letting the mouth guard settle into place. Psidias was adjusting her uniform, and shook his head at her slightly swollen left cheek.

“Are you sure you are alright to do this? I mean, it's only been a couple days.”

“I'm fine,” she nodded, slamming her gloves together. She looked past Psidias to her brothers Habib and Kaleb, then to her father Pious, who looked at her sternly and nodded his best wishes.

“Show them all that you mean business, 'Tara!” Psidias shouted as she stepped up and onto the mat.

She walked with her head down, jiggling her arms to loosen them. When she arrived at her ready position, she exhaled and assumed her preferred Jigotai. When she raised her eyes and met her opponent's, she smirked with glee.

Standing across from her was an Amarrian boy, about her age, with a recently cut lip, and sudden doubt in his eyes.

“God favors the righteous,” she thought to herself smugly.

2010-04-20

Ascension of the Amazon - Chapter 1

"...and may our Holy Father bless this meal and all the Faithful assembled here."

Pious Newelle looks up after his prayer, a smile creeping onto his face at the sight of his assembled family, their heads bowed, each one holding the hands of two others. He takes a moment to be thankful for each one in turn as eyes move across the table.
  • Jessica, his wife of 17 years, mother to four of his six children
  • Daniel, his eldest son, and heir to the Newelle family name.
  • Psidias, the middle son
  • Habib, his youngest boy.
  • and Anna, his only daughter, until three months ago anyways, born between Psidias and Habib.
In addition, at the end of the table, were another two a bit unlike the others. Two Ni-Kunni, one the same age as Habib, and one several years younger. The younger of the two, a boy named Kaleb, had already decided he would like to invoke the wrath of Mrs Newelle by ignoring his food and announcing that he wanted to go and play instead. Mitara, the older sister to Kaleb, sat silently, shoveling every morsel of food from her plate into her mouth, her eyes never looking at another at the table.

Pious did not acknowledge the look he recieved from his wife as she once again had to remind Kaleb of proper table manners, instead he watched the young Ni-Kunni girl who had barely said a word since she arrived into his custody. As it had been since she arrived, she had all but finished before most of the family had barely started. Jessica had resisted his request to continue increasing her portions until a time was reached that she would be unable to finish her meal. Ultimately, as master over the household, his desire was obeyed. She had steadily grown healthier looking, her complexion becoming less sickly, and good dose of meat forming on the childs naturally thick frame.

"You know... no one is going to take it from you, don't you?" He asked of the young girl.

She did not raise her eyes to meet his, but nodded an unconvincing nod.


"Mmmhmm" was his equally unconvinced reply.

Anna began shaking her head towards Mitara, but she quickly morphed her head shake into a scan of the room, looking for some unknown object as he shot her a scolding glance. For each of Kaleb's transgressions, lapses in manners, or other slights to the Order of Things, hers was an exact opposite. It was as if she was born Amarrian, even moreso than his birth children. All it took was one instruction on behavior, or beliefs, and it became as natural to her as breathing. This was not some mimicry either, of someone simply trying to appease, it was if all these things were already part of her, but just needed to be pointed out to be flipped on. He let the thoughts out of his mind as the dinner continued on.

"I am going to take Habib with me tonight, Father" Psidias spoke, sounding more like a question than a statement at the meals end.

"Mmmmh... You have spoken with the Sensei about bringing your brother to the dojo?"


"Yes, Father. He said he would try to arrange for an appropriate Kyu to pair Habib with." replied Psidias before covering his mouth as he coughed.

Pious felt a pang of guilt as he looked upon his middle son. He was a lean young man, but what strength he did have was etched into his body for all to see. Years of combating multitudes of sicknesses had taken its toll, but his spirit was as bright as a sun, and Psidias would not let himself be withheld from whatever athletics he set his mind to.

"What sin did I commit to force such trials on this lovely child?" Pious silently asked.

He was about to comment to Psidias about Habib's partner when something caught his eye at the end of the table. Mitara had actually looked at her new brothers with something that resembled interest.

Pious stood as he pushed his chair away from the table and started walking towards his study.

"Take Mitara with you."

He smiled to himself at the sudden silence behind him while he walked.


* * * * *

"Be quiet!" yelled Habib at the chuckling Psidias, covering his left eye.

"Now tell me what happened again?" a confused Pious Newelle asked of the same laughing boy.

"Well, Sensei thought since they are both the same age and neither have had any training, that they would be a good match, Father." Psidias was now fending off his younger brothers flailing fists with ease. "He was more worried about Mitara really..." Psidias's laughter stopped adruptly as he missed deflecting one of Habibs now increased flurry of blows.

"Enough."

The two boys stopped dead at the hint of command in their father's voice that was usually reserved for his Navy subordinates.

"Go."

Psidias and Habib quickly dissappeared from the study, leaving a frightened young Ni-Kunni girl trembling in the corner alone with their unhappy father.

"Come here."

Mitara obeyed immediately, but did not take her eyes off the floor.

Pious held up an open palm to the girl, "Punch me."

Her body began to shake even more, and her voice came out meek and broken, "I cannot, Sir."

"Do as I say."

She flinched at the increased command in his voice. Willing herself to obey, she took the stance the Sensei had shown her, spotted her target from the corner of her eye as she looked away, and slammed her fist at it as hard as she could. Mitara closed her stance, placed her hands before her, and planted her eyes at her feet.

The seconds passed as hours as she stood there awaiting her fate.

"Good girl."

His voice was no longer commanding, but soothing, warm.

Pious reached out, gently raising the childs chin, forcing her to look him in the eye. He held her gaze for a moment before drawing her into a fatherly embrace.  She stiffened in his arms, but did not resist. "Progress," he thought, before releasing her. This time she held his gaze afterwards, "More progress."

"My subordinates call me Sir, Mitara.  You are my daughter, and I am your Father." He nodded at her, willing her to comprehend. His only response from her was her level gaze. Sighing, he added, "You will go with Psidias again tomorrow."

The girl's lip quivered a moment, then one corner curled up ever so slightly. She looked back at the man with a thin lipped, smug half-smile, "Yes, Father."

2010-02-07

The Gift

It is a thin gold chain. Hanging from the middle of the chain is a small pendant, no bigger than a thumbnail. The pendant is a Praetorian Griffin, proud and majestic. The crafted details are so fine they are diffifcult to see. Each feather of the wings have been covered by a layer of shaven sapphire, set in the eye itself is a tiny diamond, and the tongue is made of sculpted ruby.

Paradise Lost

The camera drone activates showing Mitara dressed in a black, shoulder-less, flowing evening dress that is decorated with intricate patterns of gold. Her hair is done up in a very formal looking french braid. There is a thin gold chain around her neck with a small pendant hanging from it. Though her well toned thick frame seems a bit out of place in the dress, she almost looks elegant, save for the tear streaked makeup running down either of her cheeks.

Mitara slowly walks over to the side table of her study and gently sets a piece of paper on it. She carefully runs her hand across it, flattening it out. Her fingers rest upon the parchment as she stares down at it for a moment before raising both hands behind her neck and unclasping the necklace which she lays out over the paper with great care.

An elderly Minmatar woman steps from the shadows behind Mitara.

"I will be sparring when I am through here," Mitara says to the woman without looking away from the table or even acknowledging her presence.

The Minmatar bows, and steps back quietly, disappearing without speaking a word.

Mitara addresses the camera drone, not raising her eyes from the paper and necklace.

"Tonight was poised to be a heavenly, and needed, encounter between Mr Shutaq and I. He had this beautiful dress made me..."

She looks down at the dress and gives it a bit of a tug, straightening it out. A smile creeps over her face as she thinks.

"We had a lovely dinner, and an even better desert. He had such a wonderful plan for the evening thus far. After diner he took me out to a clearing in the nearby forest. I was uncomfortable, but I felt better knowing he had been there many times. He wrote the most touching poem..."

A fresh tear rolls down her cheek and her face hardens.

"Then with but a few words, our evening's focus changed drastically. Aldrith is leaving the Preatoria to make his own way, at the head of his own organization. He spoke nothing of this to me before tonight. He intends to bring the Word and the Cause to any who would show even the slightest interest in listening. Even barabarians and scum."

Mitara takes a deep breath, her muscles tensing.

"Not a single word... or hint... On this night he chooses to say something!"

She turns towards the doorway and storms out with fists clenched tight.

The camera drone stays on for several minutes before shutting down and going idle.

A new picture appears in the same room. Mitara walks through the doorway, now wearing her exercise suit. As she walks into the room towards the table and into the light, it is apparent some time has passed. There are sweat stains on her suit, and her face is stoic and red with exertion, the smeared makeup still not having been washed away. When she arrives at the table, she reaches out and takes the necklace, clasping it around her neck with bloodied hands. She looks down at the paper with the same stoic look for several moments.

"See this framed and placed in the bedroom. I will shower as well."

The same elderly Minmatar woman passes through the doorway, quickly making her way to the table She keeps her head low, avoiding any chance look by her Mistress. She picks up the paper as if she were picking up a newborn babe and backs way, then turns and starts to shuffle out of the room.

Mitara's eyes fall to the floor, her voice quiet.

"Let me know how he is doing after the physicians are through seeing him"

The slave stops and speaks, "Of course, Mistress Newelle." She quickly bows and vanishes through the doorway.

Mitara stands looking at the floor, waiting a few moments for the slave to leave before she too turns and exits the room.

After a time the camera drone goes idle and shuts down again.