Welcome to the first ever edition of the EVE Blog Challenge! The monthly EVE blogging extravaganza inspired by the “Blog Banter” and created by AnMiTh. The EVE Blog Challenge is about story telling, and relaying our experiences in EVE in new and exciting ways. The stories/posts that are created are both, long and short, detailed and not so detailed, but it is always fun to see everyone’s interpretation of the source materials. Questions or comments should be directed here, and if you are interested in signing up to participate go here. Anyone can submit source materials, to do so email them to us here.
And don’t forget to read the other EVE Blog Challenge posts that will be listed at the bottom of this post.
The sun glistens off the side of the Piety as she slowly glides through space towards the station orbiting Amarr. This has been the end of a long journey, you had to go through the fire and brimstone of hell, but yet you made it in one piece. Those in the Inner circle were right when they said it would be tough, they were also right when they said you would be rich.
The ship glides to a stop as the station’s docking computer takes over control of the Piety. Before you are even ready to exit your pod the request is sent to your computer… “They” are ready for you in the meeting hall, they are anxious to hear about the journey and the status of the mission that you are on.
You pause, thinking towards your first trip back to the homeworld since the change; you know that it will soon be time. All the training, the practice, and the painful drawn out procedures, all of them will soon culminate in this, your destiny. A destiny that may well prove fatal.
A whirr and clunk, followed by a series of beeps, raise you from your reverie. The inner circle is waiting, and there is danger in leaving them waiting any longer. The walk to the meeting hall is not long, but there is still a hesitancy in your steps, your unfamiliar legs still seem reluctant to obey, as if the flesh fears the consequences of the mind’s intent. You concentrate on smoothing the motion, trying to let the footfalls flow, as you remember from before, from your natural body. Natural? Well, as natural as your body has been since that first cloning. Since you swapped your own sacred flesh for immortality. Right, left, right, left… try not to lean too far forward, nor too far back… the thinking makes it harder, not easier; it’s almost as if the animal instinct should have control, but this flesh suit lacks that instinct. Is this the price for growing people?
There is a functionary waiting for you at the meeting hall. A small unassuming man, nondescript in almost every way, except for a slight limp. You wonder whether he too has undergone the procedure, and briefly consider asking, but dismiss the thought quickly. No way to tell who knows what. The hall itself is empty, but you ensure that your hood hides your features, just in case.
“Follow me, miss”, the man beckons and limps towards a side door. You follow, aware of your own deficient gait.
They are all there, the Inner circle; just as they were on the day that you were recruited; just as they were on the day that this destiny was begun. Faces obscured in a variety of different styles; hoods, veils, masks. The subtext makes you smile.
“Sit!”, the order is barked. You do as your are commanded, lowering your head as if a slave. “Take off your hood.”
You do as he says, and you hear a slight gasp from several of the circle.
“She looks just like Evie!”
“A masterwork!”, the approval is clear. You smile slightly; thinking perhaps that the pain, the long hours of agony were worth it. Your soul-stuff is all that remains of your old self; the flesh suit that you wear now is someone else. Evie Utulf. Daughter of Ana Utulf, former governor of the Ammatar Mandate. Ana Utulf, who some scant months ago had defected to the accursed Minmatar Republic, and with it had plunged the mandate into chaos. Your “mother”.
That had been one of the things that most stuck in your craw. The need to forget your family. You’d always been close to them, to your father in particular, and that you now were to have to give them all up for the glory of the empire was a sadness. And an irritation. It bothered you more, even, than giving you up. Your personality would remain, but submerged, hidden beneath this new person that you had to become. This traitor. Ammatar, Minmatar, thing. But the empire called, and you answered. Your reward will come later.
They’d talked much of rewards, on that first time here. The Inner circle. Of financial incentives, of loyalty, of faith and love. You’d smiled throughout, knowing that this was so much window dressing. The real reward will come in the afterwards, when your soul stuff is eternally blessed by God for the purity of your actions. Their plan seemed good. Since the defection of Utulf, the Mandate had struggled, until Ardishapur had been put in place by the Empress. Yonis Ardishapur, royal heir, had settled the situation and calmed things down. And now, as the business of the empire continued; the Ammatar Mandate was leaving behind its trauma. And forgetting. And the Minmatar republic was escaping unpunished. This could not be allowed, and the inner circle reasoned that, should a relatively high profile former Ammatar make an attempt upon the life of a royal heir – well, that should bring some righteous vengeance down upon the heads of the godless tribesmen.
That was where you came in.
In your capacity as Evie, you would now make an unsucessful attempt upon the life of Yonis Ardishapur, leaving he and his fuming. You would be captured and would confess – to involvement in a conspiracy strecthing back to your mother, and the leadership of the Minmatar republic. The attempt could then be used as the pretext for war. You would, of course, be executed – but they knew nothing of the med clone, a clone of your former self, hidden away in a distant system.You’d been assured that this would be safe – that you would never be found – that the authorities would not realise what had happened. With that clone, lay a fast ship, and several billion ISK. Your reward, such as it was in the here and now.
“Tell me about your mother…”
“Let me tell you about my mother…”
“Who else has planned this with you? Who are the conspirators?” the inquisition continues. The Inner circle wish to be sure that the training, the mind alteration, the hell that they have subjected you to has planted the seeds deep.
“Why? Why? Why?”, the questions come thick and fast, and you snap back answers at them. The lie is as the truth now, the indoctrination has its hooks sunk firmly into the tissue.
Finally, the questions cease. A contented murmur all that remains, and you are dismissed. Sent from that place for the last time.
Two weeks later you sit inside the hangar, high in the structure of its ceiling, awaiting the moment of destiny. Your fingers grip the pulse rifle lightly, cradling it as if it were your child. It’s plasteel handgrip feels solid, real, a point of anchor in the world of fiction. Lies within lies threatinging to take your identity and with it your sanity. You know that your last meeting with the Inner circle was convincing. You know that it was enough to keep them unaware. You know that they trust you.
Far below, the final preparations are being made for the disembarking of the heir. The Inner circle agents had ensured that the security sweep had left your hiding place untouched, and had rerouted security subroutines sufficient to give you your chance. The plan is that you will be captured after the unsucessful shots. The plan is that you’ll confess. The plan is that you’ll miss. Plans change. Plans can be changed. Changed as you are. Changed as you have done.
The Inner circle won’t like it when they hear that Yonis is dead. The Inner circle won’t like it when they find that their assassin has escaped. And they really won’t like it when they find their money gone too.
You touch your comm-unit, silently issuing the autopilot orders to your waiting Anathema. You raise the rifle to your shoulder, sighting the emerging royal heir, and slow your breathing to a standstill.
You pull the trigger.
Other Great “EVE Blog Challenge” Posts –
- A Mule In EvE, Been a long way back home
- Declarations of War, Internal Unrest
- Into the unknown with a gun and camera, Evie
- EVE Guru, EBC #1
- More to come….
Want to join in the fun? Sign up for the next EBC here.