Journal 5/20/11

Had an operation go well south on us - Exalted. - a couple days ago while I was dealing with more personal issues. A middling sized Rote Kapelle and Exalted. fleet engaged 6 carriers and support at a hostile POS. We came out of the thing with 5 loses to only 3 on their side, none of them carriers. On the up side, some of our loses were Blooders.

Sarakai has been keeping me up to date with what is happening on the Ideal. Nothing new to report, though she did ask for authorization to bring in some associate of the people Rolasque works for for interrogation. Hopefully that will bear some sort of fruit.

Slipped away from the Fortune to the Gate for a drink today too. Place is downright filthy with Angels these days. I think there might have been more Ghost Festival than Veto. there. Not that the Angels are bad folks, most of them. Just a bit of a strange turn I guess.

Saw Petra, Morwen, and Quig Jou (who I haven't seen anywhere for ages) there. Petra and Morwen asked about Cia, but of course there wasn't a lot I could tell them, aside from that I was doing what I could. Anyway, think I will head to the officer's mess and see if I can get a snack.

Journal 5/19/11

Ran the... the operation I guess it is today. To help Cia. Thank the spirits that the doctor left me a message that it was his belief that me being in trouble would be sufficient to get Cia to jump. I... I know I could have done it, but I don't know if I would have ever been able to look at myself in the mirror again, if I had had to use Camille.

I visited Ciarente and brought a package - which I said I needed delivered to a certain person in Rens. I claimed I was too busy. She's so spirits-damned trusting! That might be the worst thing. Anyway, she agreed to take it, and off she went. I told her I would stay around to keep an eye on Camille for her.

Once she was confirmed to have arrived by my people in Rens I commed her. Audio only. I told her the most horrible things. I said I had been taken. By blooders. I knew she would know what that would be, for me.

I stood there outside the offices for the cloning company and I nearly threw up, telling her how they had me on a ship. Imagining what I would say if it was the truth, and saying to her 'Blow up the ship if you have to.' and 'Please just hurry.' Exploiting the things in her I want to save, to get her in a body that tortures her. Spirits but there are days I don't like myself very much.

So, she jumped. I grabbed her as she left the cloning station, still confused and a little disoriented. Told her there was no time. Hustled her along to the meet with Dr Harefnem. She - ancestors - she seemed more concerned that I was really alright, even once I explained the dirty trick that I had played on her. That it was all to get her in this body and to see the doctor.

At least at first, then she was terrified of her - her visitor. The doctor explained it was a result of her implants, the things she saw, and she-

I had to restrain her, and finally resorted to taping her hands behind her back, so she wouldn't hurt herself. So she would just listen to the doctor. Cold take me, one of the worst damn days of my life. In the end he got through though. He is good, I guess. He better be.

She is going to see him now, very often. And she is going to stay in this clone, even with - well, even with what it does to her. It helps her too, and the doctor says they should be able to reintegrate it. I hope so. She does seem more her old self. Except all that fear.

Anyway, we went back to the ship, and for a wonder Camille had even behaved herself while we were gone. I still feel like shit though. Cia told me that the worst part was thinking that I - that I had been taken. Not the things her implants are doing to her, not me nearly breaking her wrists keeping her from hurting herself, not even the betrayal. The worst part, to her, was what she thought had happened to me, when I lied to her.

Anyway, I'm going to stay here on the Fortune's Smile for a little while. I've already informed Sarakai that she will be in charge for a bit again, and made the other arrangements.

Journal 5/18/11

Went to Dr Harefnem's office today with Cia. I went in first, supposedly for my own evaluation, so I could discuss what we could do with the doctor. Harefnem seems to have a bit of a weak stomach about what might have to be done, but he's the only thing I can think of. We hammered out something like a plan. We have to get Cia back in her old body - the one with the implants. The one she would probably rather biomass than ever visit again. I'm going to have to lie to her - betray her even more. I'm at my wit's end though, and this is all there is left, short of holding a gun to her head. Short of... Well, I know for a fact it is better to be dead than a blooder's pet. The real Cia will be dead, if we can't do something about what has happened.

In any case, I'll use Camille and myself as the bait, to get her to jump back, after I trick her. She might never forgive me, but better that I lose a friend than a friend loses her life. Then it will be up to the doctor to convince her, to do whatever it is he does. To fix her.

Journal 5/17/11

I did something pretty dumb. I was feeling a little frustrated, I guess. Here I have a friend - a sister - Ciarente. Celes Tenebrae is fucking with her head and there isn't shit I can do to her. She's in my damn alliance and she is still untouchable. All I can do is watch Cia turn into this Ancestor-forsaken blooder pet, and hope that Dr Harefnem can do something. Relying on a damn shrink. This is what it has come to.

In any case, feeling a little frustrated, I went to the gym - Fit to Fly. Cia was there, which didn't help. It isn't that I'm mad at her, exactly. It just sometimes I want to shake her until her teeth rattle for just walking into so much damn trouble. So, I started taking it out a little on a practice dummy. I guess I took it a little far, because I managed to snap a filament in my right arm, which - while violently retracting in both directions from the break - ripped the shit out of the inside of the right upper section of my arm, and the inside of my shoulder. No organic damage, but for some reason it still hurt like a fucking bitch.

Cia was very helpful, of course. She found me some sort of pain killers, and called Anjell for me. He came and disconnected the arm to take it back and work on it. Hopefully I'll have it back in a day or two. In the mean time, Cia helped me back to the Ideal. I wasn't in the best shape, I guess. I hate that, feeling that way, like some kind of cripple. Anyway, it dredged up a pile of shit I don't think is worth revisiting. Cia was almost like the old Cia again, in her concern, and it made me feel a bit bad about what I'm planning on doing. It is for her own good though.

Anyway, earlier today I managed to relay Morwen's message to Aurora when I saw her at the gate. She seemed, well, ambivalent. Hope the whole thing works out so everyone's at least not terribly upset, but it seems like a messy situation. Aurora went with Aldrith, apparently to work it out. Good luck to them. Cia was still acting weird, which just reinforces my decision.

Ship-side we have gotten two people into the gambling establishment that Rolasque seems to favor. One as a card dealer and one as a cocktail waiter. We're moving up surveillance on the place he reported to as well - the front is as an Amarr themed eatery, which being on a Republic station and not being firebombed yet should be clue enough something is fishy. Operations are hapmpered by the fact that of course the local authorities wouldn't look kindly on our activity. We've also narrowed down who the inside man is to two technicians, who are both now under serious scrutiny.

Journal 5/16/11

We - Silver and I - attended the Malkalen anniversary vigil yesterday. Hell of a thing, remembering what is was like. All the bullshit that got set off by that mess. Verin Hakatain gave a very nice speech, and unveiled a memorial made from a section of the plating from the Wandering Saint. It has all the names of the people who died in tiny letters.

Anyway, hit the gate afterward for much needed drinks, though Silver left early. It was nice chatting with Hitome, Verin, Kyoko, Verone, and Kale. Anyway, most everyone had left, it was me and Verone, the pauses were getting a bit awkward, and Cia showed up with impeccable timing. I practically sprinted over to the bar I'm afraid, I do hope Verone wasn't offended. I have been a bit concerned about Cia though recently. She seemed to be doing alright, at least at first. Then Math'ra showed up. I did remember to ask him about who made that rifle he gave me, as now Sarakai seems to have set her sights - haha - on one. I have to make sure and follow up on that with him.

Anyway, we got into a discussion about crew, and then moved on to other matters, and Cia didn't quite seem there. She kept drifting off, or forgetting what she was saying. On top of that the things she did say - some of them certainly didn't sound much like her. I smelled someone screwing with her head again. She mentioned old friends. In any case, I started recording everything with my optical implant. I sent that and some notes to Dr Harefnem. I have been pushing Cia to make an appointment, and I'm afraid since she keeps avoiding it I finally resorted to tricking her. I told her I needed a shrink - as if - and asked if she would come along. I felt a bit bad, but you have to do what you have to do. It is for her own good, after all.

I'm glad I did too. Camille called and confirmed what I had feared - Cia had been visited by Dr Tenebrae, who had apparently taken the opportunity to renew her lease on the poor girl's brain. Cia, not Camille. I'd like to see someone try brainwashing on Camille. I'm glad she thought to com me, in any case. I sometimes wonder how it is that Cia is the one who ended up with the ship and not Cia. I'm pretty sure I know which of them is more naive.

Anyway, got that all pretty much squared away, then we have Morwen, who shows up and starts plowing through drinks. Now, she is usually is nearly connected to Aurora at the hip, but apparently hadn't seen her in a couple days. Even more worrying for her since just before this unusual separation, she had confessed to having more than friendly feelings toward Aurora apparently.

I don't really see it myself. I mean, I'm not into the ladies anyway, and Aurora is pretty enough - and talented. But she is so damn shy, and wishy-washy. I wouldn't be able to stand it. Anyway, I guess a couple of other people had the same thing to confess to Aurora the same spirits-damned day. Talk about drama. I assured Morwen that should I see Aurora, I would let her know that Morwen was concerned. Glad I don't have any complications like that at least.

Journal 5/13/11

Saw Cia at the Last Gate. We chatted a bit and she invited me over for dinner.

Security procedures seem to have really gone to hell on her ship. They were just going to stand there and let me walk aboard. Fully armed, no scans, no screening. Cia's idea of course. I'm afraid I dressed down the marine on duty - PFC Lageen? Legeen? Something like that. Not his fault of course, but still I needed to let her security people in general know about my concerns. I talked to Cia a bit later and I'm fairly sure she will put more reasonable procedures in place now, at least. Or let her CTO do it.

I talked with Camille about being more understanding of her sister and Cia about trusting Camille with more of the truth about what is going on - to limited success I'm afraid.

Dinner itself was delicious as usual. Cia will always have a fallback career as a chef if this piloting thing falls through. We discussed the upcoming festival in Debreth and how cia is thinking about a change in who she works for. Don't blame her, never much liked Lai Dai.

Surveillance continues on Rolasque and some of his associates. Nothing new yet.

Journal 5/10/11

Gertan Rolasque is the Angel doctor that we have under surveillance following his 'escape' from the brig aboard the Ideal. Dr Rolasque did a few interesting things. He got himself smuggled to one of the Republic Fleet stations Ennur, for one. We caught him in Delve, but he reported to someone in this very system nearly first thing. Then he hit the tables, with a vengeance. Apparently the good doctor has a bit of a gambling problem. The strange bit is why they bothered to break him out at all. They must know that the slaving ring is busted, and we would have gotten what little information he knew about it already. Of course, the manner in which he escaped - with help very much like in the Ishugur incident - means we may have been asking the wrong questions. When we next talk to him, that will change.

In any case, he doesn't take a shit we don't get a status update about for the time being. We're also keeping an eye on the place he reported to, and checking into the owners - most likely it is an Angel front, but whoever the players here are we aren't familiar with them yet. Sarakai is running the entire op personally though, so if it gets ugly, it'll be ugly for them.

What I still can't understand is why Ishugur was getting together all that damn food! I just doesn't make sense. If they were planning on hiding a strike team aboard, they could have brought their own after all. None of the stuff was worth any real money either. Well, if Fortune is with us Rolasque will lead us to someone who can answer our questions.

In non-dire security news, Maj. Tukaya from Supply & Logistics got drunk and tried to pick a fight with Col. Adazai. Lucky for him he didn't actually start throwing punches, he just started yelling about whatever it was. Major Sidreke - he's Sarakai's second in command and in charge or internal security - had him thrown in the brig for the evening, and I'm docking him a month's pay. If he wasn't so good at his job, I'd kick him off the damn ship. We hired them both from the same place in the Kingdom, and they have been a low grade pain in the ass ever since. Something one's grandfather said to the other or some bullshit like that. Spirits damned Amarr and their grudges.

Oh, I ran into Aria Jenneth at the Last Gate. Probably some sort of sign of the new era of Veto-PRETA cooperation. We chatted a bit about her latest ship, and she ordered a sorta neat drink - it looked a bit thick for my tastes though. She isn't going to be able to make it to the memorial apparently - too bad. Anyway, she seems nice enough for an Angel, but I'm still not sure what Silver see in her honestly.

Journal 5/9/11

We nabbed an Anshar jump freighter yesterday during one of our regular sweeps. Bunch of Exalted. in-system and the poor dumb bastard still jumps in. Don't the people practice even basic security? Anyway, even Silver can't complain about an Anshar, hardly anyone aboard.

Went to the gate afterward and saw Hitome and Ciarente there. Hadn't talked to Hitome much since the party, it was good to see her. Apparently she had a bit of a run in with Blooders, but Veto saved the day. Sounds like they didn't have ahold of her too long at least, but I guess her and her friends lost a lot of people. Fucking Blooders.

Other than that everything seems to be going well with everyone. Hitome seems really happy with Kale. Cia and Camille sound like they are doing alright, though Camille is still mostly refusing to speak to Cia. I guess Camille is doing so well in school she will be taking extension classes. Cia is still a little more... relaxed about piloting than she was. It is worrying me a bit.

In other news, apparently Ghost Festival and Veto have taken to flying together. A bit of a surprise, but business is business. I don't know what effect it will have on our relationship with Veto - which has always been quite friendly. Above my paygrade in any case I guess.

The doctor - the Angel Cartel doctor that escaped - didn't even leave the damn system! We've got him under surveillance and my tech guys tell me we'll have everything backtracked - and possibly even deleted sensor logs restored - soon as well.

Journal 5/6/11

Got another IRC carrier a couple days ago. It was a near thing. There were fourteen of in the fleet, with Silver in the Utopian Spring - she's the Megathron. Word came down that an Archon had made the jump in, and we headed out. Jumped the poor bastard just a few klicks off his own friendly control tower. Got him pinned down and poured the fire in.

Now, most of the other Dronie - Drone region alliance member - carriers we have popped have gone down like cheap hookers. Quick and easy. This bitch though, took something like twice the beating any of the others soaked up. Not only that, we were all under unfriendly guns - and a spirits damned neutralizer battery. Thank the ancestors for cap boosters - which engineering had run out of, by the end of the thing. We didn't even have the power to keep up the internal containment fields at one point, so it's a damn good thing there wasn't a breach.

The Spring makes a stock Megathron look like it is made out of paper mache, but even down in the CIC we could hear the hits a couple of times. We took a hell of a beating, and the operation is probably the closest the Exalted. fleet has come to losing a ship on these types of missions. In any case, it seems the Dronies might be learning their lesson, since traffic has petered out quite a bit since then. It's a relief to Silver, at least.

I ran into Ciarente at Fit to Fly again. She seems to be working pretty hard at her self defense classes, though honestly I'm not sure she quite has the knack for it. I guess she had talked to Silver, she mentioned he told her we had some issues aboard - which we did - and apparently even shared something about his doubts regarding all these carriers. A little surprising, though Cia has something about her that is a bit disarming.

She is getting positively blase about the risks pilots take. I don't know if she is finally just getting used to things up here, or maybe it is the new clone. I talked to her about her father too, about making plans in case we couldn't find him. I didn't mention that I had made it clear to Tanith that finding him is not the highest priority, and to share with me first, if they did find anything. Considering her father's behaviour so far, well. Let's hope he stays hidden and I don't need to consider my options.

As for the problems aboard the ship, we got a Blooder prisoner along with several members of the slavery ring, during the raid to get our people back. We aren't set up for really in-depth interrogation, but we have managed. It was low priority however since the whole operation had been rolled up. At least that is what we thought. At the same time, the entire Ishugur incident had pretty much dead ended. We had the body, we knew he had to have an accomplice or accomplices somewhere - posibly within the crew - but we haven't gotten anything else to go on. despite upping ship-wide surveillance noone has done anything overly suspicious. More in-depth background checks on Ishugur's known associated hadn't turned up anything either.

The blooder was, unfortunately, an underling. Under interrogation he claimed that it was an operation with some Cartel faction providing technical support - though it wasn't clear in return for what. His superior unfortunately was killed during the raid, but the Cartel doctor we captured does back the story up. The doctor didn't know anything, as he had arrived only a short time before we attacked, to replace someone who cycled out back to Angel space somewhere and was still awaiting instructions.

Anyway, another dead end, we came back to Ennur, here in Molden Heath, and that is where things stood for nearly a month. Then a few days back someone broke the doctor out. With inside help. Help that was very similar to the help that Ishugur had with the sensors. This time we were ready though. It is jsut a matter of time until we backtrack who accessed our systems, we had the doctor followed, and now we know that the slavery ring and the Ishugur incident may be linked.

Journal 5/3/11

Three enemy carriers down, and the crew is in high spirits. All three operations were pulled off flawlessly, with no casualties on our side. Thing with these operations is that we are always going to be under fire, every time. There is always a chance something will go wrong. Everyone's running evac drills and doing supplemental training whenever possible, just in case.

Saw Cia at Fit to Fly a few days ago, we ended up swinging by her apartment and then hitting the Gate too. Her old apartment - where the attack took place. Think it shook her up a bit, but I hope she'll be alright. She still hasn't been back to the doctor, I guess, either. Still, she seems to be acclimating to life up here. Just hope it doesn't go too far.

Journal 4/29/11

Word's come down the line we will be stepping up operations against Ethereal Dawn, Intrepid Crossing, and their allies. Things are a little stretched getting the Ideal, Spring, Pattern, Discord, and Rain all in top combat shape. We've started keeping combat loads and ready crews in all of them, just in case, since mission orders can come in on short notice. Aerer and Adazai are starting to look a little rough around the edges, and I don't think Anjell's slept in a few days - though honestly that isn't so uncommon for him. Still, they're keeping everything running, which is its own sort of miracle. I think I'm going to need to expand the staff again though, with all these spirits-damned new ships.

All that is just for operations against other podders. The Glamour has been refit - yet again - for hunting down whatever. There's a new Sacrilege (the King) and a new Raven (the Myth) as well, all for similar operations in Wormholes or against the local Cartel presence.

What all of it means is a lot of paperwork for me.

Journal 4/27/11

Well, first thing is first, need to get down the last bit of the party. Jack Madison showed up, charming as always, and gave me this great, huge knife. It was awesome, the better part of a machete almost. I can think of a few times I could have used something like that. Fun chatting with him, and I think Sarakai was rather taken with him, to be honest.

Ruby showed up too, and Zegerth. Sometimes I wonder if anyone has ever taken the time to go over proper social interaction with those two. Maybe it is just different, them coming from a different culture - Ruby from somewhere in Stain I think, and Zegerth from.... Wherever Zeg is from. In any case, mixing them and Camille just isn't a good idea. That girl even got Tanith into a conversation about weapons.

And the cake Ruby brought, it was... Well, I'm sure she meant well, but it was horrifying. Mustard and some sort of berry and sour cream, and I don't know what. Maybe her taste buds are modified too. A couple of us managed to choke some down and make polite noises at least.

Math came back near the end of the party, and brought a present this time. It's this beautifully crafted hybrid rifle, from Khanid space, he said. I tried it down at the range earlier and it was incredible. A wonder of engineering and art.

Journal 4/26/11b

CJ Walker, Math'ra Heide, Esna Pitoojee and Eliza Mariska were the first ones to arrive. Podders, I mean. Sarakai, and Kasa and the other ship's officers were already there. I invited Master Gunny Jadat as well, in view of his recent performance. Morwen Lagann and her friend Aurora Morgan arrived a bit later, and by then things seemed to really be picking up. I recall Hitome Kei arriving with her date, Kale Roche - who I hadn't met. Petra arrived just a little later. Things began to blur together a little, running back and forth greeting new guests and playing hostess. Something I think Ciarente is far, far better at than I will ever be. It gives me a new appreciation.

I ended up with quite a bit of alcohol and some tea - I think it was Morwen who gave me the tea - from those initial guests. Everyone seems to have been having a good time. Hitome gave me a lovely key chain as well.

Jadat made the mistake of telling Camille abou the grav generator though aparently, because she took the opportunity to jump off the the platform. Three times. I will have to give the poor fellow who had to retrieve her some extra leave or something. Still, I have to admit, it looked like she was having so much fun, I tried it myself, later. It was a blast! I'm going to try and sneak a generator into the budget for renovating the gym.

Hitome and Morwen played - piano and violin respectively - and it was a highlight of the evening. Most of the podders who attended really seemed to appriciate the venue that Anjell and his crew set up too, and even the Peace - the Nightmare - floating behind the bar.

All in all it was a successful evening, and it seemed everyone was happy to meet some new people.