Wow, hard to believe it’s been 200 posts already. Thank you for making this possible and joining me in this 200th post extravaganza! <audience applause>
It’s been an interesting journey thus far, and these last few weeks have been particularly tumultuous. Where will things go from here? I’m as interested as anyone else to find out! <audience applause>
But before we venture into the future, let’s take a look at the past, and see where we’ve been, and what we’ve learned. <audience applause>
- Roc’s Ramblings currently receives over 15,000 views per month
- The 1,000 view in a single day benchmark was broken on April 16th, 2009
- The single most viewed post is Capsuleer iPhone Release Candidate – 1,716 views
- The single most non Capsuleer related post is A Beacon Beckons – 1,347 views
- The least viewed post is Roc’s Rule #176 – Breasts are insanely complicated – 3 views
- My top (and only) heckler is Sard Caid – Congratulations Sard!
- My top referrer is Life in Low Sec – 1,903 referrals! That’s what happens when I ride on the coattails of the greatness that is Mynxee
At the end of the day, I write this blog for me, and me alone. However, I must admit it’s been nice having an audience that has appreciated my efforts.
Some subjects are of interest to my readers, others are not. Short stories, novellas, artwork, these tend to be the things my readers enjoy. Recipes don’t seem to be a favourite, and yet they will continue! <audience applause>
So what I have learned from being a first time blog author? A great deal indeed. Let’s take a look. <audience applause>
- People don’t like polls
- People do like guides
- Using tags is good
- Promoting post titles for the blogrolls instead of Roc’s Rule #xxx is a much better idea(thanks again Mynxee)
- People like artwork
- People like artwork involving breasts even more
- People demand more action figures
- People demand Mynxee and Roc get it on!<audience applause>
So what comes next? Well, let’s take a look at the things I have on the go; I’m sure there will be something of interest! <audience applause>
- Path to Freedom, EVE Online Novel
- One Night of Roc, music CD available in August 2009
- The Colonel and the Pirate, collaborative novella with Mynxee
- Capsuleer 2.x, the definitive iPhone tool for EVE Online
- Personalized 3D action figures of YOUR character in exchange for ISK <audience applause>
- More short stories
- More recipes
- MOAR ROC! <audience applause>
Yes, it’s been a good ride thus far, and looks to be really only beginning. I invite you to continue to experience this adventure with me in this universe we call New Eden. There is always so much to do, so much to learn, new friends to make and kill, and of course, self introspection. <audience applause>
“I can’t believe I overslept!” I said, scrambling out of bed. I looked for my shirt on my dresser, sleep dazed for a moment until I realized I wasn’t in my quarters. I heard Kainda stretching behind me, small purrs escaping her mouth as I had inadvertently woken her.
I found my shirt on the floor in a far corner of the room, and began dressing quickly, trying to get one foot into a boot while pulling my shirt on. It didn’t work out exactly as I had envisioned in my head.
“Need a hand there, tiger?” Kainda said, reclining on the bed, the thin sheet barely covering her silky skin. I took her in fully, once my shirt was on, feeling her sultry smile and come hither stare penetrate me, stirring my loins. She leaned over onto her back, the swell of her full breasts reaching skyward, enticing me further to come and partake.
“I would,” I began, tying my one boot, “But I can’t late. Duty is duty.” I had used that line a thousand times before, to impress whatever woman I had happened to bed the previous night, and also as an excuse to make my exit, but this time it was true. I had been summoned by the Sanmatar, the request to my NeoCom requiring the highest level of clearance to view.
The message itself had been short:
Colonel Roc Wieler. Your presence is required at the office of the Sanmatar at 0500 hours. This is not an optional request. Failure to comply will result in military contempt and imprisonment.
It had obviously not been written by the Sanmatar himself, and seemed a tad threatening, but not everyone was good with their communication skills. Still, it did seem odd, and I tried to imagine what was going on that would require such strong wording and a meeting at such an ungodly hour.
“Will I see you again?” Kainda asked, a small cuteness in her voice.
“Universe is a small place.” I replied. I wasn’t one for relationships, never had been. Mynxee was the exception of course. There was obviously something between us, more than just physical, but it was unsure, uncertain, and definitely didn’t warrant any commitment.
I gave Kainda a quick kiss on the lips, which turned into several minutes of intense petting and making out, finally extricating myself from her grasp and running out the door. Hot women were going to be the death of me.
Arriving at the Sanmatar’s office slightly out of breath, and covered in old lipstick, I pulled a wipe from my jacket pocket and freshened up as best I could.
The two guards standing on either side of the Sanmatar’s door was an ominous beginning to this meeting. Usually, I would just knock on the door, and Maleatu would invite me in; clearly that day would be different.
I informed one of the two guards of my identity, which was verified, and after briefly speaking into his aural implant, the door was opened for me to enter the room.
As I walked in, I could feel the heaviness in the air, and knew in my gut something bad had happened. Maleatu wasn’t his usual smiling self, and was in the middle of conversation with two council members I didn’t know personally, as well my top ranking escort squad leaders. Daul Halwick looked my way, uncertainty on his eyes, and I nodded to him in reassurance, trying to play things as casual and “normal” as possible.
“Colonel, please have a seat.” Sanmatar Shakor gestured to a nearby chair as he finished his conversation with the council members. I assumed they would’ve left, but they didn’t, seating themselves in adjacent chairs to me. Daul took a standing position behind me and to the right, the other escort behind me and to the left.
I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, and my knuckles turning white, the blood starting to rush through my veins a little faster in anticipation of something dreadful about to occur. I quickly went over my activities of the last few weeks in my mind, trying to see where someone could’ve interjected speculation into my accounting of things, some aspect I had overlooked that could now be used against me.
I wasn’t a pessimist. I was simply pragmatic. Hope for the best, expect the worst. If I didn’t think of the absolute worse scenarios, I wouldn’t be able to react quickly and efficiently when even worse things occured.
“Colonel,” Maleatu began, his voice sounding uncomfortably formal. “I requested the presence of Councilman Traithe and Councilman Arbor this morning as witnesses to this meeting, and I apologize for the early hour; it was the only opening in my schedule today I’m afraid.”
There was no smile on my friend’s face. I could feel myself growing more tense. I nodded to the Sanmatar, acknowledging his words, but not offering up any of my own. There were times it was better to sit quietly and observe than to speak foolishly. This was one of those times.
The Sanmatar turned his back on me, gathering some documents on his desk, all the while talking. “Your anti-pirate initiative has encountered tremendous success. You are to be commended for that.” Maleatu said, turning his attention back to me once again, a small hint of a smile on his lips. “”Our squads have captured or killed many of the region’s outlaws, and morale amongst the general militia troops has drastically improved. Well done, Colonel.”
The two councilmen plastered fake smiles across their lips, clapping in unison for the exact same duration, then stopping, the smiles falling from their faces as quickly as they had appeared. It looked perfectly rehearsed a thousand times over.
“The council has been concerned by the additional expenditures during a time of war, and I’ve had to rationalize it to them on your behalf.” Maleatu continued, the unspoken words not being missed. He knew I had no experience with accounting or asset management, and I was thankful for his intercession.
“They have finally come to agree with my assessment as to the necessity of continuing this intiative, and given our most recent victory, have happily signed off on continuing the exercise.” Maleatu said.
Recent victory? As head of this operation I micro-managed just about every aspect of it. I didn’t necessarily have to be involved in every detail, I just liked to know everything that was going on at all times, who was doing their job, who was doing just enough to get by without being discharged from the op, even who was profiting a little on the side, though they weren’t aware yet that I knew.
What was he referring to?
The Sanmatar threw a docket onto my lap, but my gaze never left his. “One of our fleets has been very active in Evati system lately, the results of these pushes into pirate infested territory being that one of the local bandit groups has opted to relocate to Kourmonen.”
I only knew of two pirate groups operating out of Evati: The Bastards and the Hellcats, Mynxee’s corporation. My heart began pushing against my ribcage. I quickly glanced down at the closed docket, hesitant to open it.
The Sanmatar continued, “While enroute to their new ‘home’, we managed to coordinate with the militia and intercept some of their pilots, cutting them off from their main force. While there were casulties on both sides, this could now be considered a turning point in our war against terrorism. That’s what we were discussing when you arrived.”
I could sense Daul tensing slightly, his heavysuit making his movements easier to hear. I could feel a lump forming in my throat, and my heart continued to race, threatening to burst free. Casulties? Who had died? Had I known them? I found myself more concerned for my friends, even though they were pirates, than for the brave men and women of the militia that had also perished. I felt great shame at that.
“Please, Colonel. We need your input on this one. While you are strictly denied any access to this prisoner, your past experiences with her will prove invaluable to us. She’s proven quite resistant to interrogation thus far, but we know you will provide the answer.” Maleatu gestured towards the docket once again.
I couldn’t breathe. My hands wouldn’t respond to the commands of my brain, shaking and moving slowly towards the docket on my lap. I could feel the adrenaline pumping through me. I could feel the fear and outrage rising within me. I was terrified of whom it would be, yet also hopeful it was her; at least then I knew she was alive. I could feel my anger in the vein on my forehead; if she was alive and being ‘interrogated’ behind my back, I wasn’t sure what I would be capable of.
Finally, I opened the docket cover, and saw Mynxee’s face looking back at me.