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Ava Starfire

Ava Starfire

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PostSubject: The Repeater.   The Repeater. Icon_minitimeTue Aug 16, 2011 8:48 pm

The Repeater.

(( WARNING: This story covers a long period of time, and it covers an exceptionally violent period of time. The material I will include here is explict. I dont believe it will compare with a horror novel, but I hoped to give anyone who may be iffy about such things a heads-up.

Without further adieux, I present to you, my favorite chronicle to date, to be posted in manageable bites every 1-2 days, The Repeater. ))


The ancient homeworld of the Minmatar, the “Children of Matar”, a world of myriad, nomadic people, carving out a life from the very mountains and forests of their “Mother”. Eventually, those nomadic people left behind the stone age, and moved through the periods of human advancement, through the iron age, into modernity, and then post-modernity, eventually taking their first timid steps into the stars, and colonizing four nearby systems. Throughout it all, those people, the Minmatar clung to their nomadic, tribal ways, retaining their old beliefs, customs, and societal norms.

Near the top of the world, however, none of that mattered to a young man named Kero Turppa. He had acquired the land and the capital, from a generous grant from the Clan council, to open a small machine shop in Faekjohlm, a city on the eastern coast of the northernmost continent on Matar, Mikramurka, to begin production of sewing machines, drills and pin sugars, and repeating rifles.

The Turppa Repeating Rifle Co. was a strong firm, and their Model No 18 Repeating Rifle quickly developed a reputation for being sturdy, trouble free, accurate, and reliable under the harshest conditions... like the penetrating cold and ever present ice of northern Mikramurka itself. The rifles, built to an ancient design that had been considered public domain for centuries, would be depended upon by the traditionalist Clans of the extreme north for every facet of their survival.

On one early winter morning, Serial Number F534437 was assembled with a 90 cm octagonal barrel, a tang-mounted adjustable rear sight, a crescent buttplate, and chambered for a powerful, straight-walled cartridge of equally ancient design, firing a 380 grain, .45 caliber bullet, propelled by 70 grains of black powder. The rifle was assembled and quickly shipped off to Aurora Claim and Supply Co. of White Point, Mikramurka.

The woman rode across the rolling, snow-covered plains of Hik'mak, her long black hair, decorated with small silver disks, blowing in the cold morning air, a few small, leather-wrapped braids resisting the wind somewhat. She was dressed in a heavy fur tunic, thick wool gloves and pants, and leather boots, their overly long laces wrapped around her calves, tied tight. She rode on a snowmachine, another ancient contraption that simply served too well to require anyone to seek a replacement, an unusual hybrid of motorcycle, half-track, and snowmobile, speeding across the plains south, toward White Point. Her naming mark informed onlookers that she was one Akatii Hilikia of the Red-Cedar Clan, one of many traditional Sebiestor Clans that occupied northern Mikramurka. She had just turned 32, and was eager to return home to check on her husband and two young sons... but she had also waited a very, very long time for this day.

The snowmachine clanked and growled down the ice-covered streets of White Point, and she hopped off, pulled off her gloves, and happily walked inside the clapboard structure with the hand-painted sign that informed the world that this was the site of the Aurora Claim and Supply Company.

“Hello, Karl!” Akatii called, smiling, as she walked inside, stamping her feet on the rickety hardwood floor to clear the clinging slush and snow.

Karl, a tall, gaunt Sebiestor man with short, wiry gray hair, waved her over to the counter where he stood. “Come here, come here! Yes, it's here.” he said, smiling and laughing. “They've been back-ordered for months, but this just came in last week...” he explained as he pulled the rifle from its rest in the clear glass display case and carefully handed it to Akatii.

Akatii carefully examined the rifle, checking the things she knew to check-she was no collector, after all, to her, the rifle was a tool for securing food-and nodded. “I will need two boxes of cartridges, too.”

Karl laughed. “Yes, yes... and dies, and bullet mold. I have that all for you, here...” he retrieved a handfull of other small boxes, setting them on the counter along with two boxes of cartridges. “I think that should last you a good long while.” Karl said happily. “Quite a reputation, Turppa's guns have.”

Akatii smiled and lay the rifle on the counter, pulling out a handfull of money from a pocket within her tunic. She looked up and asked, “How much, for everything?”

Karl had long been known as the only trustworthy merchant in most of the region; most of the “Aboriginals” as the locals called them, could neither read, nor write, and many an unscrupulous shopkeeper fudged prices a bit when it came time to pay. Karl typed onto a handheld calculator and said, “Two-hundred and six.”

Akatii looked down at the money, and simply handed him the whole mess of bills. “Um.. just, take it out of that.” she said quietly.

Karl counted out the money, handed Akatii back her change, along with her new rifle and its assorted whatnot, and the two said their goodbyes. Akatii climbed on her snowmachine and began the six-hour ride home, having just spent almost one-third of her yearly income on a new rifle.

She carried the rifle slung over her left shoulder by a dark brown leather sling that she had made for the purpose. She hoped it would be worth the money she had spent.

“Probably break within five years.” Akatii muttered as the snowmachine sped north, toward the darkening night sky and the undulating aurora, with its bands of blue and green.
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Ava Starfire

Ava Starfire

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PostSubject: Re: The Repeater.   The Repeater. Icon_minitimeWed Aug 17, 2011 9:46 am

Akatii sat on a blanket spread in the long grass before her kenkii, carefully cradling the rifle in her lap. In her hands, she held a small hammer and drift, and carefully worked, setting the brass and iron tacks into the rifle's stock and forend with gentle, but deliberate blows. Slowly, the small tacks began to form an intricate geometric design, following the pattern of symbols that the Sebiestor people had used in their tattooing for eons.

The late summer sun shone brightly, even though most of the Clan were sleeping by now, and the cool breeze from the north carried a hint of salt, carried from the ocean far to the north. Akatii worked for several hours, carefully checking and rechecking the position of every tack, before carefully driving them home.

Several hundred tiny tacks, and several hours, later, Akatii picked the rifle up in her thin hands and examined it, smiling. The rifle had served her well for over thirty years, but now, the time was approaching for another in her family to carry it. The Sebiestor people traced their family history through matrilineal lines, and normally, she would have left the rifle to her oldest daughter; but Akatii had bore only sons. Therefore, she would leave the rifle to her eldest granddaughter, her oldest son's daughter, Nakyalii, who was fast approaching the age where she would receive her Voluval, and take her place among the Clan, to begin a family of her own.

Akatii frowned a little, knowing she would not live to see that day.

Akatii slung the rifle over her shoulder, by now its weight a familiar, comforting companion, and walked through the heavy canvas flap into her home. She lay the rifle down on her table, brushed a windchime with her head as she stepped into her bedroom, and lay down to sleep, alone, her husband having died almost ten years before.

Nakyalii Roota was seated at the family table, putting the finishing touches on a repair to a pair of heavy wool pants, the day that her grandmother peeked her head inside her parent's kenkii and called quietly, “Nak?”

“Grandma!” Nakyalii replied, her face bright. “Um, Dad and Mom aren't here... they went to...”

“I guess it's a good thing I didn't come to see them, hmm?” Akatii said, grinning. “Come on. It is time for you to learn something. Something important.”

Nakyalli dropped her sewing right where it was and hopped to her feet. She quickly pulled on her boots and followed her grandmother, walking south, out of the village, toward the mountains.

Had an anthropologist been able to witness the pair, elder and youth, walking slowly, they might have identified it as an example of oral tradition, of knowledge being passed simply by the telling. They might have identified it as observational learning, when Akatii showed her granddaughter how to load the rifle, how to operate it, how to fire it, how to use the complicated rear sight assembly, how to use the tiny level within the front sight to ensure the rifle would fire true.

Akatii's stark white hair was in contrast to Nakyalii's jet black, her thin skin, a myriad of lines and creases from decades of exposure to Mikramurka's relentless wind and cold. Akatii was dressed in a long leather robe, decorated with beads and rivets of similar design to the simple embroidery on Nakyalii's light summer pullover, Akatii's myriad tattoos and marks telling her story.

A story which, now, would be Nakyalii's to tell.

“This is yours now.” Akatii said proudly, yet with a hint of sadness, as she handed the rifle to her granddaughter. “And someday, you will do the same thing as I, you will pass it down to your daughter or granddaughter.”

Nakyalii slowly, gingerly, took the rifle as Akatii presented it to her, her eyes showing a mix of joy and sadness; when an elder began to give their belongings away, all in the Clan knew what that meant, but death, to the Sebiestor, was simply one more step on the spirit's journey, a journey far greater, and more important, than life. She turned it in her hands, to get a good look at the design the tacks in the wood.

To my granddaughter Nakyalii, my son Navo's oldest. May Matar provide.

“When you pass it on, you can add to the design, or change it... or just leave it as is.” Akatii said, watching her granddaughter. “And so on. Take care of it... and it will take care of us.”

Nakyalii nodded. “I will.” she said quietly. “I will add to it, I think... there is plenty of room left.”

“Now...” Akatii said, grinning. “I think you should shoot it.”

Nakyalii nodded again. “Okay.” She carefully slid the smooth brass cartridges, with their dull, flat tipped bullets, one by one, through the loading gate, held it to her shoulder, its curved steel buttplate nestling into place, and worked the lever, chambering one of the cartridges. Akatii watched as Nakyalii lifted the rear sight to its position, then gently let the hammer down, before looking over. “What should I shoot at?” Nakyalii asked.

Akatii examined the tundra, the rolling hills and grass; admittedly, there was not much to use in the way of a target. “Well, let's walk a little while, and find... something.” she replied.

The two walked a while, talking, when Nakyalii spotted a single wooden post, stuck into the ground near the river. “How about that?” she asked.

“That works.” Akatii replied. “Remember, squeeze the trigger. Don't just jerk...”

Nakyalii had already shouldered the rifle, pulled the hammer back, and fired, her first shot causing the post to shudder as the lead bullet buried itself into the dense wood.

“Showoff.” Akatii said, though her broad smile displayed her pride.

Nakyalii fired the remaining nine rounds, beginning to understand the working of the complex rear sight, hitting the post with all but two of them. She carefully lay the sight back down and slung the rifle over her shoulder, smiling. “Thanks, grandma.”

Akatii shrugged. “Just make sure you clean it after you fire it. Hot water and a good scrub, then a coat of oil. Understood?”

Nakyalii nodded. “Understood.”

The two began their walk back to the village, talking the whole time, taking the opportunity to get every last second out of the brilliant late summer day. That winter, Akatii would receive her Voluval, and, as Akatii had feared, she would not be there to see it. Akatii had cancer, and would begin the next step on her path, the journey to find her ancestors, three months later, in her primitive home, in the same valley where she was born.

A simple cairn of stones marks Akatii Hilikia's final resting place, next to the cairn where her husband was buried ten years before.
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Ava Starfire

Ava Starfire

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PostSubject: Re: The Repeater.   The Repeater. Icon_minitimeWed Aug 17, 2011 3:29 pm

Time marched on, and Nakyalii Roota completed her Voluval, received her marks, and was married, her husband a man from the neighboring North Of Winter Clan named Kevvek. Shortly after they were married, one crisp winter morning, the sky beheld the frightening and awesome sight of a tremendous fleet of spacecraft, gleaming gold monsters with wickedly curved, pointy hulls, pouring a deadly stream of fire onto sites far to the south.

The Day of Darkness had come.

Word spread fast, word of the wicked Amarrians, their weapons, their goal-the subjugation and enslavement of the Matari people. The mighty Amarrians, however, for all of their technology and strength, were simply unprepared for the hellish conditions of northern Matar.

The people of northern Mikramurka had been given precious time, time to prepare a stubborn, lethal resistance, time to move to the shelter of the most inhospitable, impassible places they could manage; the mountains, the fjords, the midst of the endless arctic muskeg and taiga.

Matar herself fought the invaders with the worst weather and cold that any of the Sebiestor, and their neighbors to the south, the Krusual, could recall. The temperature for most of the winter hung between -40 and -50 degrees, the wind from the northwest was relentless, and every few days, blizzards would dump and blow the snow so fiercely that no structure not purpose built to withstand it remained.

That first year, the cold of Mikramurka caused more Amarrian casualties than the Minmatar did.

By the beginning of the second winter of the occupation, however, the Amarr had begun to adapt; hover vehicles, built to withstand the cold, spread out in convoys from the cities on southern Mikramurka, carrying troops to ferret the Minmatar resistance out of their hiding places. Most of Matar had been occupied, and the enormous slave ships came and went at regular intervals, full of Matari slaves bound for their new lives in the Amarrian Empire.

“We have to go.” Kevvek called, shaking Nakyalii awake. “They're coming.”

Nakyalii blinked awake and rubbed her eyes. She looked around, but saw only the heavy, snow-laden boughs of the cedar tree that had offered them shelter beneath its branches for the evening. “Who?” she asked quietly. “I don't hear...”

She fell silent as a group of ravens flew across the nearby valley, screeching their raucous calls of warning. Nakyalii quickly sat up and brushed herself off. Kevvek waved his hand, signalling for her to remain silent. “They're close... do not move. Do not speak.”

The young couple lay on the ground beneath the cedar's boughs, carefully, slowly, putting snow in their mouths so their breath would not cause visible steam, in complete silence, as an Amarrian hover vehicle passed by, ten or so heavily dressed guards riding in the rear, while a well-dressed man sat in the front, next to his driver.

Nezad Kor-Azor was the eldest son of the official Holder assigned the region, Serapi Kor-Azor, and due to his status and wealth, enjoyed a life of some indulgence; fine food, fine women, and “hunting” as he had come to call it.

The vehicle that passed was carrying none other than Nezad, out on a “hunting” expedition, with a few of his family's most trusted guards. A long-barreled, elegant rifle sat next to him, his hand gripping the barrel, holding it pointing skyward, his heavy black and gold clothing emblazoned with the strange Amarrian symbols.

Nakyalii and Kevvek stared, terrified, wide-eyed, silently praying the vehicle would pass, that their presence would go unnoticed. Most of their Clan had already been killed, those who remained had fled-like Nakyalii and Kevvek-deeper into the wilderness, hoping Matar would keep them safe.

Matar was powerless against the loud chirping noise that erupted from the vehicle's control console, however. The vehicle stopped, perhaps 100 meters away, hovering perhaps half a meter above the snow-covered ice of the the river. Nezad stared at the screen, and then looked over his shoulder and pointed.

“Maurius, Tedo.” Over there, one-hundred and twelve meters... two. Flush them out.” he said calmly, climbing down out of the vehicle, his rifle in his hands.

Kevvek slowly lifted his rifle, looking at Nakyalii and offering her a faint smile. “See you there.” he whispered.

Nakyalii lifted hers, pulling the hammer back, her face expressionless. “See you there.” she replied.

Nezad dove into the snow in front of his hover vehicle as the gunshots boomed out, Maurius jerking oddly and falling, straight and stiff, into the snow, a red mist following him downward. Tedo gurgled and grasped his neck as a spray of crimson splashed across the snow, firing a single shot skyward before he lay, strangling out his last gurgling breaths, on his back, kicking his legs wildly.

Kevvek's single shot rifle required him to load it every time he fired, so Nakyalii was able to get off two more rapid shots, one striking the canopy of the vehicle and shattering the heavy glass, the second catching one of the other guards as she scrambled to exit the vehicle, the heavy bullet scoffing at the feeble attempts of her protective armor to save her lungs. Kevvek fired again, the even heavier bullet of his .50 caliber rifle striking another guard just below the navel, the guard screaming and writhing in agony as the thick black blood oozed from between his fingers.

“Run!” Kevvek screamed, pointing downriver. The forest was far too thick for them to make any progress in that direction, so, bordering on panic, Nakyalii nodded, fired one more shot, and tore out of the trees, running as fast as she had ever run, down the rocks and brush of the riverbank.

Kevvek fired again, the deep, bass blast from the barrel of his rifle throwing up a cloud of snow and smoke that obscured all vision for both him and his attackers. The bullet missed its mark, but embedded itself in the rear of the vehicle, destroying its hover generator. The vehicle immediately fell to the ice with a heavy, sickening thud, crushing two men who had taken shelter beneath it.

By now, Nezad Kor-Azor had found what was left of his courage, and peeked up over the front of his destroyed vehicle. Four guards lay dead, two were gravely wounded, and the remaining four were in no mood to obey his orders. He ducked down as the female Matari stopped two hundred or so meters away and fired several more shots, the heavy led slugs burying themselves in the vehicle with heavy, loud clangs.

Nakyalii fumbled in her pocket for more cartridges as Kevvek ran toward her, running fast and low. She was thumbing the fourth cartridge into the loading gate when she saw the Amarrian leader raise his rifle and fire, the precision, advanced weapon sending a high-energy pulse into Kevvek's back. He fell, noiselessly, to the snow, his outstretched arms above his head, his hand still gripping his rifle.

“NO!” Nakyalii screamed, firing another shot that narrowly missed Nezad's chest, ricocheting off the hood of the vehicle and leaving a long, heavy crease in the sheet metal. Nakyalii ran back, back toward Kevvek, dropping to a knee and firing yet again at a guard that had dared step from cover to draw aim on her. The bullet struck his hand and destroyed his weapon, the man screeching in agony as he dove back behind the vehicle.

“Gah!” Nezad cried, as the awareness of how close the Matari woman's last shot had come sank in. She ran back toward the man and knelt, screaming, pulling on his arm.

It was at that moment that Nezak Kor-Azor was faced with the decision, when the realization that the two were husband and wife, or a couple of some type, sank in. He looked down the side of the vehicle, at the four remaining guards, three of whom were uninjured, at his destroyed vehicle, at the dead man laying in the snow, a hundred or so meters distant.

For one instant, Nezak Kor-Azor doubted the righteousness of what they were doing.

“Nayak na kivo a takurii!” the woman screamed, firing several more shots at him. He cowered behind his transport as the woman fired round after round, as glass shattered, metal tore, as the man with the bowel wound screamed and writhed in pain. The world was crashing down around him, coming apart.

To Nakyalii, her world lay dead on the snow. She had no intention of surviving the firefight. She carefully saved one bullet in her rifle-just in case-and picked up Kevvek's and began firing again, the heavier rifle's bullets blowing gaping holes through the vehicle. She would take a few steps, then load another cartridge and fire, then advance a bit more.

Nezak and his men quickly realized they had nowhere else to go. If they did not kill the woman, she would kill them. Period. One would live, one would die.

Nakyalii walked with her rifle slung over her shoulder, its weight a comfort, the thought that it held one more round a peaceful, soothing one. She was firing simply to keep the Amarr terrified now, no longer aiming, just pointing and pulling the trigger, tears streaming down her face, leaving clean trails on her skin where they washed the dust and dirt of a life of hiding away.

One of the guards noticed the single-shot nature of her husband's rifle. A plan was quickly formed.

Nakyalii fired, and dropped to a knee to slide another round into the chamber, when Nezak took aim and squeezed the trigger. The energy pulse struck Nakyalii high in the chest and she sat down, unable to find the strength to stand. She looked down, at the blood on the front of her tunic, and calmly closed the lever on the rifle, raised it to her shoulder, and fired one final time.

The bullet struck yet another guard who had leaned from behind cover to dare try a shot of his own, striking him right below the breastbone. He fell to his back without a sound.

Nakyalii opened the lever and withdrew the empty cartridge, sliding a new one into the chamber, sitting on the snow barely forty meters from the vehicle, when Nezek fired once more, the second shot penetrating through her chest and spine. Nakyalii lay on her back, staring up at the gray sky, the gently falling snow, and whispered out a few final, strained words of prayer, her rifle still slung across her back, her husbands in her hands, resting across her legs, as she died.

Serapi Kor-Azor surveyed the carnage, walking beside her son. Six guards, good men and women, lay dead, two were gravely wounded-one would forever be unfit for duty, minus his hand-to kill two Matari, one young woman, one young man.

“They fought like demons.” Nezek said quietly, standing next to his mother, looking down at Nakyalii, laying on her back on the ice. “I have never seen...”

“They are savages, Nezek.” Serapi said coldly. “And now, you see first hand, what man becomes when he abandons God. This.” With that, she gestured to the woman's body, the young, pretty woman with jet-black hair and pale skin, dressed in fur and leather, covered in strange markings and tattoos.

“What man becomes when he abandons God, indeed.” Nezek said quietly. He handed his mother the rifle that Nakyalii held and bent down, gently rolling her to her side to retrieve the second. He looked down at the strange, archaic weapon in his hands, at the weapon that the woman had used to exact such a heavy toll, its wood and decoration covered in her blood.

“The bodies of the fallen have been loaded. It is time to go.” Serapi said quietly.

“What about them?” Nezek asked, looking to Nakyalii and Kevvek.

Serapi took a look around, a long look at the dark forests and bleak gray sky, at the falling snow and the desolate wilderness, a world of gray and white. “They love this wretched place so damn much... let them rot in it.” Serapi spun around and walked off towards her transport.

Nezek looked down at the rifle for one more moment before quietly turing to follow his mother, remembering the words the Matari woman had screamed.

Nayak na kivo a takurii.

He would find out, he decided, what that meant... after quietly ordering a party of workers and guards to return later that night, and bury the two, man and woman, in a single, simple cairn of stones on the riverbank.
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Ava Starfire

Ava Starfire

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PostSubject: Re: The Repeater.   The Repeater. Icon_minitimeThu Oct 06, 2011 7:07 pm

All of Matar was parceled into sections, each under the direct control of a holder, who was invariably a member of one of the ruling Holder families of Amarr. Mikramurka was primarily the province of the Kor-Azor family, and the Ko'mak Peninsula, home to the most primative Clans of the Sebiestor tribe, was no exception; Serapi Kor-Azor ruled for a further 23 years, dying quite young, at merely 68-the official cause of death listed as “liver failure”, though to this day rumors of poisoning persist-and upon her death, her son, Nezak, assumed the mantle of Holder of Ko'mak.

No sane Amarrian Lord would have wished to hold the position; the Sebiestor of the Ko'mak peninsula were among the most backward, violent, and primitive of the Minmatar people. The Sebiestor as a whole tend to be cold, calculating, and possessed of an intelligence that simply terrified the Amarr. In addition to being ruthless and cunning, they tended to be physically weak, small people, wholly unsuited for the slave's life of manual labor. This combination made the Amarrian elite ask an unpleasant question, always behind closed doors, always in hushed voices:

What to do with the Sebiestor? To attempt to groom them as a whole, for domestic positions? To use them as labor in factories, where the “heavy” work is done by machines? To eliminate them?

Nezak Kor-Azor managed to convince his lords that he could use the Sebiestor, that they were good people, that they could learn to be civilized, polite, calm, that they could be of use. As the Empire had more than enough slaves from the other Minmatar tribes, what harm would be done in allowing them to live, he asked?

He may well have prevented the Sebiestor from sharing the Starkmanir's fate. In doing so, he set a precedent in Ko'mak; with him began a line of holders that the Sebiestor would forever call “Nei sokyajik”, or “The Gentle Ones”.

The snowmachine bounced across the seemingly endless steppe of Ko'mak, the young woman gripping the handlebars smiling into the biting wind. Her long black hair, here and there braided into thin braids wrapped with leather and adorned with coins and wooden beads, whipped at Nezak's face as he clutched her waist, holding on for dear life.

“So what is, that we are going to see?” she called out over her shoulder.

Nezak yelled back above the roar of the engine and the howl of the wind in their ears. “I have to... I have to see someone.”

Henii grinned as she eased the snowmachine down the bank of the river and opened the throttle, the smooth river ice allowing speed that the broken tundra had forbidden. “Must be good friend, sir!” she yelled back over her shoulder.

Nezak, Holder of Ko'Mak, placed all of his faith and trust in a woman who was a member of a people he had helped enslave, who's life he had helped shatter, who's world he had helped destroy. No member of his House or guard knew where he had gone-he had said he was in his study, and was not to be disturbed-and he only know thought of how he was just as vulnerable today as he was nearly 30 years before, when he had last been here.

Henii stopped the vehicle and hopped off, happily smiling and looking around. Nezak stared at her quietly for a long moment, at her thick black hair, her piercing green eyes, her skin, tanned from the near endless exposure to both sun and wind. She stood on the ice staring at the small cairn, snug and warm in her thick wool pullover and pants, before looking at Nezak, her smile fading away.

“Who is bury here, sir?” She asked in her broken Amarrian.

Nezak stepped off of the snowmachine and looked at Henii, then turned to the cairn. “A... an amazing young couple.” he whispered, his voice trembling. How will Henii react, when he told her the story? Henii, barely 20 years old, was born after the Amarr had occupied Matar; she had never known freedom. Yet he could see it in her eyes, the same defiance, the same fiery spirit, that he had seen in
Nakyalii's, almost 30 years ago.

In spite of himself, he began to quietly speak. “If I live to be five hundred, I will never forget her eyes.” After a pause, he added, “You look very much like her.”

Henii looked at the cairn again, then bit her lower lip; for a moment, Nezak thought she would attack him, that she would kill him, then and there. She knew. He could tell. She knew. He almost hoped she would, that she would get some measure of revenge on behalf of her people, that she would make him pay for his crime. To his amazement, she looked back at him and quietly said, “Well... you should go and say hello, sir.”

Nezak nodded and, without another word, walked over to the cairn, and then fell to his knees in the snow. He never looked back; he didn't want Henii to see the tears streaming down his face.

Henii Siikanen watched him for a moment, then took a few steps away from the snowmachine to look around, to get a good look at her world. The day was much like the day Nakyalii had died; dark and overcast, though, of course, Henii did not know that.

She only knew the weather felt “right”, somehow.

She stared at the endless stands of fir and spruce, the silvery-gray sky, the windblown snow. Henii had grown up under the constant supervision of the Amarr; she lived with her parents, brother, and sister, in a traditional kenkii home....but they lived in a village near the Amarrian compound, under the watchful eye of overseers and guards. Every day, she went to work-which, for her, was as a translator and guide for Nezak-she went to religious services in an Amarrian church, she ate the food they supplied.

Her parents often spoke of life before the “Day of Darkness”, before the Amarr came. Quietly and secretly, they taught her everything they could, told her stories and legends, showed her how to make a flute or a pair of snowshoes. Her mother, as had many of the women in her family, had been a shaman, her father, a Clan elder. They were quite well equipped to pass on cultural knowledge, via oral tradition, as had always been their way.

Henii remembered how her mother cried, the day she asked when she would receive her own facial tattoo, like the ones she saw on most of the older Minmatar. Henii's mother had never cried before-at least not that Henii had seen-but she did so freely as she explained the significance of the tattoos, of the rituals and beliefs involved... and how the Amarr had strictly forbidden the practice.

For a moment, she thought about it. She looked over at Nezak, his back to her, kneeling in the snow... she need not do a thing, she thought, except climb onto her snowmachine and leave. Matar would soon kill him, she knew. If not the cold... the animals, the Spirits. She took a few steps towards him, almost without being aware she was doing so, but stopped when he rose from his knees.

Henii didn't know how she knew, but she knew. She could feel a sadness here, in this place, a regret at life cut short, at children who would never be born, at old age that would never be enjoyed, tales that would never be told. She wondered why Nakyalii and Kevvek were not angry; she wondered how she knew their names.

Nezak walked back over to stand next to the snowmachine, and stood with his hand open, watching the snowflakes land and melt in his palm. “I... I killed them.” he admitted, speaking quietly, but clearly.

“They aren't angry at you.” she replied.

Nezak stood in shocked silence for a moment. “They... what?” he asked.

Henii looked at the cairn. “They are not angry. At you.” she repeated. “They are happy, they die free, in their home. They die in their home, and are happy, together.”

Nezak and Henii climbed onto the snowmachine and rode back to the south, back toward the Kor-Azor estate, in complete silence.

The next day, Nezek issued a decree that no “heritage site, including burial cairns or tombs, earthworks, religious sites, nor any other earth or stonework attributed to the hand of the indigenous people, is to be excavated, opened, or disturbed in any way.”

It would be the first of many such decrees that he, and later, his heirs, would issue, which would make this particular branch of the Kor-Azor family very, very popular with the Ko'mak.
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Rek Jaiga

Rek Jaiga

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Join date : 2011-09-10
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PostSubject: Re: The Repeater.   The Repeater. Icon_minitimeThu Nov 24, 2011 5:07 am

I liked it a lot! Particularly the part about dying free and together; that really strikes home with me =D I also liked how you didn't go completely biased and portrayed the Amarr as complete monsters, but rather showed that Nezed actually had regret and, later, kindness. It's very much in the style of the CCP chrons, which try to paint people of all factions as being capable of both good and evil. I also liked your incredible attention to detail, what with the geographical descriptions and such.

Thank you for writing this!
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