One of my cohorts in m3 deemed to me that he will not checkout my blog until I put some fiction on there. Since everyone else seems to be trying out their imagination on the Eve Universe.. I’ll try my hand in it as well. So begins Chapter one of “The Ballet”.
Left, farther. Twist, then twist, up over. Bend.. yes, right on. Fingers, pinky right there. Perfect.
“You missed a turn, dear.”, a motherly voice said from the chamber opening. “Your mother expects better from you.. especially against the competition.” Slowly the old woman moved from the shadow of the door, carrying a tray full of goodies. Sarai walked over and patiently waited for the slave to reach the table. This was by far her favorite part of the day. The old woman, upon reaching the table, sat the tray down and began pouring a cup of cinnamon tea.
Sarai walked to the other side of the table, and slid the chair out. “Please, sit. I know mother has been working you especially hard this month to help me prepare. You must be tired.”
A smile crept across the old woman’s lips as she put the hot water back on the tray. “Little Angel, be kind to your slave.. and just do as the rest do.” With that, she put a small kiss on Sarai’s cheek and started to arrange the crackers on her plate.
Undeterred, Sarai glided to the center of the room, “Then if you will not eat with me, Meira, then you can at least dance with me.. like you used to do.” She then drew up into a ballerina’s form and with a flick of her neck, stared directly into Meira’s ancient eyes. A hint of a smile crossed Meira’s face.
“Perhaps you could use the practice. I will join you.” Meira walked next to Sarai, her bulk copying her pose exactly. “Just make sure you’re mother doesn’t catch us. Music! Tsainky Symphany No. 45! Play!” A slow rumbling of horns began to play, softly as if on a feather. Sarai began the pace, arching her back then out into a spin, her long golden veil and dress following her movements. For the brief moments as she turned, she would see Meira mimicking her every move while the slave garment she wore and her girth only hinted at the grace behind it. For many years, Sarai had always tried to outdo Meira with jumps, and tumbles. With speed and brilliant clothes she always tried to beat her. It wasn’t until recently that she realized, Meira wasn’t trying to beat her. She was just enjoying the one thing she could. When Sarai figured that out, dancing no longer was a chore her mother made her do.. it became a joy. And with that joy, came skill.
They were in mid-rotation when Sarai heard the voice of her father from down the hall. Immediately, she stopped ran to the door, opened it and ran into the hallway. Just down the hall stood her father, Adrien Ruthmartin of the Amarr Grand Fleet. As soon as his eyes saw his daughter, a big grin crossed his face and opened his arms wide. “Come here, honey!”, he said.
Sarai ran over to her father and hugged him with all her might. It had been six months since she had last seen him in person (though he was able to holocomm the family at least every few days). She buried her head into his chest, and took in a deep breath and soaked up everything her senses could find. His smell, the muscles under his black Imperial dress gear, his breathing, the feeling of his arms protecting her, and most of all, the gifts that he would bring from the distant worlds he was on. For a little while, they just held onto each other, with no words being said.
After some time, Sarai felt her father let go and she backed up. Adrien looked into her eyes and said, “I have a present for you.” He opened up his dress uniform, pulled out a small, black envelope and held it out to her. “This is for you.”
Sarai took the envelope from her father. It was truly black as far as she could tell, and it wasn’t made of paper but she couldn’t quite figure out what it was. She flipped it over and saw the symbol of Amarr embellished on the front. At first she thought it was just glued onto it.. but she took a closer look.. and it was woven into the envelope itself. However it was done, it was very precise and for the life of her, she could not see where one side was even off by so much as a single thread. It dawned on her, she didn’t even see a way to open it, there were no tabs to pull or even fold lines. She looked up at her father curiously.
Adrian laughed. “Go, get your mother and meet me down in the den. She will want to see this as well.” With that, Sarai turned around and ran down the hallway, propelled by pure excitement. As he watched his excited daughter head down the hall, he noticed Meira in the doorway, also watching his daughter. “Meira, come with me.”, he said. “You will want to see this as well.”
“Yes, Master.”, was her only reply and she followed behind him as he passed.
“I hope you aren’t teaching my little girl any of your tribal dances.” His voice showing a minor note of irritation. “I will not have Sarai be contaminated by such.. foul moves. Do you understand?”
Meira hesitated, “Yes, Master. My master knows that his daughter is an exceptional dancer, and that her…”
“I will have none of it, Meira.” He stopped walking and turned toward her. “And as you know, while I may just slap you around for such insolence, Tian will have you unpleasantly removed and.. reconditioned. Obey me in this. Half-competent slaves like you are very difficult to find.” He turned back around and continued walking with Meira in tow.
When Adrian entered the den, his wife Tian, was waiting there next to one of the leather couches dressed in a long, elegant blue dress and wrapped with a sheer, golden shawl. She walked up to Adrien, took his hands into hers, and just held them, while she stared into his eyes. Soon, the emotion was too much for her and she broke down crying and put her arms around him sobbing on his shoulder. As she was crying, she noticed Meira standing at the doorway. She wiped the tears from her eyes and whispered to Adrien, “What is she doing here? She’s not so supposed to be here.”
Adrien laughed, “My dear, this involves her as well.” He looked over to Sarai, “Darling, I want you to put that envelope here on the table and when you are ready, press on the symbol. Meira, come in here, you will need to watch this as well.”
Sarai, with a mix of confusion and excitement, place the envelope face up.. and slowly pressed the Amarr symbol. Immediately, a holographic displayed and began to run through what appeared to be a diagnostic. Abruptly, the diagnostic disappeared and an was replaced by the Amarr Symbol floating in the middle of room. A clear, commanding voice came from the image. “Bow Down.”
Adrien kneeled down on one knee. Unsure of what was going on, Tian and Sarai likewise did the same. Meira, behind the family, kneeled to the ground. The Amarr Symbol was then replaced with the image of a woman, in perfect detail… one they all knew. Tian promptly fainted.
The woman was the Empress Jamyl the First.