The Colonel and the Pirate, Part I

This had been brewing for months and there was nobody to blame but myself.

I could’ve sat philosophically, overanalyzing my motives that brought this moment about, but really, now was the time for action. It didn’t matter if it was done with good intentions; it didn’t matter if it wasn’t. Perhaps in my subconscious it had been a grab at power, I’m sure Sard say would say it was overcompensation, but was it? And again, did it matter? No.

The truth of the situation left me cold. Mynxee, the CEO of the pirate corporation Hellcats, and perhaps the only woman to ever melt my heart, had been captured and interrogated by the very task force I had assembled and set in motion. In principle, I was fine with it; I had warned/pleaded/begged/lectured her since we first became romantically involved that the life she had chosen would inevitably lead her to ruin. The irony of course is that I never once considered it might ruin me.

I had to save her. Wasn’t that the right thing to do?

The dilemma was that I had sworn to serve the Republic at all costs, regardless of my personal feelings. Duty was duty, and it was my strict adherence to my duty that had elevated me to the position I had earned through blood, sweat and tears.

There were few Matar Colonels in the Republic, and I held that honour proudly. The Republic was slowly gaining momentum, slowly redefining its identity, remembering its once proud heritage, and coming together as a unified people. We just needed more time, and more leaders driven to embracing our people, driving them forwards into glory; I wanted to be one of those leaders. It rang true to my heart.

And yet Mynxee was in my heart as well. We had shared much together, and I cherished those memories, and the emotions that welled up inside of me upon thinking of them. The thought of continuing this life without her was almost too much bear. Was this love?

I slammed my fist against the wall of my quarters, as I laid uncomfortably on my bed, having been tossing and turning all night.  An entire day had already passed since the Sanmatar had first delivered the news of Mynxee’s detention, as well as following that up with a clear understanding of my role in this scenario. I was strictly forbidden access to this prisoner, as our romantic relationship was a well known rumour  that if discovered to be true could bring about such a fallout that would ruin both my military and political careers.

Double dipping? The head of the Anti-Pirate Task Force romantically involved with an infamous pirate. That is how the tabloids would read.

I hated to admit it, but the Sanmatar was right. The Republic was still too fragile; a scandal like this would only weaken us. I knew my duty, and it was to the Republic. Forgive me, Mynxee, I had thought to myself at that realization, but felt at peace with the decision. It wasn’t my fault she led the life she did. It wasn’t my fault she was foolish enough to get herself captured.

So why did I feel so damned guilty?

All day, my heart grew heavier and heavier, my conscience weighing me down until I could barely function as a pilot, my thoughts a jumbled blur that half the time spilled over into commands to my Aura unit, which she couldn’t process properly.

I grounded myself temporarily, until I could get my head back in the game. One single woman shouldn’t have been able to affect me so. It was more than physical love, though her face possessed such radiant beauty as to be able to get her way from any man. Her body was sculpted to athletic perfection, but not to the point of losing a single ounce of femininity. And don’t even get me started on her hair! Thick, red, flowing dreadlocks, some down to her heart shaped, firm ass, man!

I pulled myself from that line of thinking, as it clearly wasn’t going to help the situation any.

Shutting myself into my quarters, I spent the rest of my day trying to access the reports surrounding her incarceration, only to find that my access had been revoked. I didn’t know what else to do, and lay torn about the issue.

“Do you want to throw away your career for a woman?” I voiced out loud, hoping that maybe talking myself through it would be of benefit. “Do you even love her? Do you even know if she loves you? Better be damn sure old man.”

I sighed heavily.

“What if she doesn’t? What if you do all this, throw away everything, simply to have her deny your affection? Then what are you left with? Nothing but regret and a broken heart. No woman is worth that. Never forget that.”

I rolled over onto my stomach, still unable to get comfortable. Usually, I was asleep minutes after my head hit the pillow; no such luck tonight.

“But what if she does love you and you do nothing? You’re the only one that can save her, and think of how grateful she’ll be. Of course she loves you, look at all you’ve been through together. You think that sexual tension is just for show? She wants you as much as you want her. Why do you think you can’t sleep? If you’re willing to listen to your heart, you know what the right thing is to do.”

I sat straight up, my moment of epiphany upon me.

I had to do it. I had to rescue her. I had to be with her.

Motherfucker, Mynxee thought to herself, curling her legs tightly to her chest on a stone bench within her cell. She had been there three days, and hadn’t even heard from him. Goddamn him!

She was left only in basic undergarments, and was shivering with cold; her cell seeming very archaic compared to some of the prisons she had spent time in over the years. Leave it to us Minmatar to have the crappiest jails in New Eden, she echoed in her mind, laughing. It had been a long time since she’d been in a Republic jail.

The dank walls were split only by the solid steel door with two slits in it, one at eye level for the guard to check on her, the other much lower to slide food to her. She had eaten some horrible food in her lifetime, but even this had been pushing the limits of her intestinal fortitude.

Thinking of food made her stomach grumble. The door double tapped, and despite herself, she hoped it was Roc. Her hope didn’t spring from longing or romantic desire, or some typical notion that he would somehow magically set things right, and she would be free, no. She wanted to see him personally so she could spit on him, tell him to fuck himself and his misguided ethics, tell him she didn’t need to be saved from the life she loved, and relish in the resulting look on his face.

Yes, she cared about him deeply at one point, but he had gone too far; he had crossed the line with this latest escapade of his. The Hellcats and the Bastards wouldn’t stand for this. She knew she wouldn’t be here much longer, one way or the other.

The upper slit slid open, revealing piercing blue eyes. It wasn’t Roc. It was the same man that brought her food every evening shift; he had called himself Daul.

He was the only one that had been gentle with her, the only one to treat her as a human being, and not some stray, sickly dog that deserved to be beaten.

The lower slit opened, and he pushed a tray of hot food into her cell. Her stomach growled in earnest, the scent of the hot dumplings the foulest aroma she had ever known.

She devoured the plate of food, gagging only once on its horrid taste, picturing her favourite steak dinner and wine as she ate.

With food in her stomach, her temperment softened slightly, and her thoughts turned once again to Roc Wieler. The Colonel, she harumphed sarcastically.

Where had they gone wrong? Had it been destined to fail from the very beginning? Was she so blinded by his chiselled jaw and carved body that she had let her judgement waver?

Her heart raced thinking of him now. He is dead sexy, she allowed herself to indulge, remembering his touch, the security and warmth of his arms around her.

And she loved his insecurity. He hid it well, but nowhere near as well as he thought. It added a humourous awkwardness to the otherwise ‘gruff’ persona he projected. She wondered how long he had worked on that, and if he really thought anyone bought into it.

That made her chuckle slightly, the first time she had smiled since being brought here.

She scowled at the realization, her mind racing to scorn once more.

Whatever they had shared, it obviously hadn’t meant as much to him as it had to her. Fuck him.

200th Post Extravaganza!!!

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>

Current Stats

  • 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

Blog Lessons

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>

The Future

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>

Final Thoughts

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:

<START>

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.

<END>

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.