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Inquisitor Cruciatus
Posted - 2003.10.30 20:43:00 - [1]

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"Of chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not chess."
-- Irving Chernev

Pawns are the most misunderstood pieces of the chess board, he mused. They fall easily, move in predictable linear fashion, and are primarily used in the early game as deterrence. But very few remember the Pawn has a unique ability it can unleash should it survive the onslaught its King puts it through. It can transform into something greater than itself at the last stage of its march.

It can become something quite terrible and beautiful.

+ + +

Ragnar Danneskjöld did not recognize the throne upon which he sat on anymore, as he gazed into the window looking out on the black chasm of Y-4CFK in Venal. He remembered looking out on those stars with a chin held in striking position, watching his enemies crumble as the Alliance of Good beat back the plague of evil with a smile on his face. But he had disturbed something with that war. Not a corporation or a person, but a balance of power.

Ragnar turned away from the window and strolled along the walls of his large office. Passing by pictures of soldiers, ships, and business milestones, memories flooded into his eyes, as those times became real again, if only momentarily. A chunk of frigate hull caught his eye. On it was written, “Never again.” Long had it stood for something forgotten ages ago; a rusting plaque of glory that had no meaning in the current incarnation of Eve. Tales of deeds in the past echoed through his head, but never crossed the mind of the unrelenting NVA navy, which was knocking on the wooden doors of his empty, white marble hall. His vision had been lost to everyone, including himself.

“Excuse me Mr. President,” said a voice from the door, jarring the Caldari from his daydreaming.

“What is it, Craven?” Ragnar mumbled back to his Gallente assistant, whom had now entered and approached the CEO.

The assistant scanned through his electronic tablet and spout out it contents. “Your shuttle is being prepared, and the paper work is going through. Within a few days your position as President of Taggart will be up for the council to decide, unless you would like to recommend a successor?”

“No, I wish to be rid of this place. Let them decide their own fate. I assume media blackout for this affair.”

“Yes Mr. President. There have been no leaks as to your current disposition, though rumors of your retirement had been floating around. Once you have left, the tax, transportation, and residence records will be disposed and destroyed.”

“Good,” huffed Ragnar, not missing a beat. “God only knows whose eyes have been watching my fate intensely, both old and new. Has an estate been established in ***era?”

“It has, awaiting your arrival. It has been purchased and cleared of former residents, and lies somewhere in the south-eastern hemisphere.”

“Very well, prepare my departure in two hours. Make sure you send some pilots out to the NVA controlled mining zones to make distractions for my leave. That will do Craven.”

The Gallente nodded his head as he backed out of the room and into the hallway, and began to walk off as the door slid shut, leaving Ragnar once again alone in his crumbling temple. No matter, he thought, it is over. No one would put his, or rather herself, in a position of power above him. Ragnar Danneskjöld was defeated or bested by no one, and would never be. Some had suggested that he changed or ought to change, and change was something he’d rather die a thousand deaths before considering it an option.

The NVA would have only the shell of an egg to suckle on now, as his departure to places far beyond their influence would leave them parched for more. They were an alliance based off war, not peace. Hopefully they would collapse in upon themselves with power struggles and backstabbing. Perhaps come that day he would venture his poker hand onto the green table once again.

Soaking in his office one last time, he snorted in disgust. Muttering an incomprehensible curse, he stomped out of the office, hoping his two Mulligan escort pilots would slip by the NVA gate net this time. Their incompetence annoyed him, but that had not been his job to either worry or care. And now it never would be.

+ + +

The defense of the King can crumble like bread if one holds back too long, especially if one uses only Pawns. The Rook is easily drawn out by Bishops and Knights, leaving the King trapped in his castle. It becomes claustrophobic, especially when the Pawns sit there idle like obedient puppies, then drawn off by threats later in the game. The castle is an arrogant move that one hopes shall save themselves.

Pawns are not for defense.

+ + +

Inquisitor Cruciatus
Posted - 2003.10.30 20:43:00 - [2]

The bright afternoon sun shone brightly down on the sandy beach of the private island. Gentle ocean breezes massaged the air with a light lick of spray. The isolation from the worries of negotiations, questionable deals, and public relations were strangely familiar, though the scenery was different. Ragnar still convinced himself that everything had changed once again, and finally he could relieve himself of everyone’s burdens they lay on him.

His hydrofoil sat in the small dock, listing gently as the former President and CEO of Taggart stepped of his ship and walked towards his estate. Everything seemed to be in order, and the place had not burned down in his absence, though sometimes he grumbled about his man servants’ lack of competence. Still, he was ready for an afternoon lunch from an empty day of wave riding.

His bare feet stepped off the sand and onto the stone porch of his house, and he pushed himself though the doors. The once unnoticeable creaking echoed loudly through the empty halls of his mansion, as the wind had unexpectedly died down. Ragnar paused for a moment, but then he dismissed it. Then only thing that troubled him was that his butler was not in the main hall. Perhaps asleep on the back porch again, as usual, he thought.

As he walked through the rooms, the usual patter of his servants’ feet perturbed him more and more. More and more thoughts and justifications for their sudden disappearance flooded his mind. Perhaps they had sold out his position to the NVA, or even worse, the media. That’s the last thing he wanted was the invasion of his privacy, as he’d settle for a cruiser dropping into the atmosphere and obliterating his house instead of the associated press.

Taking out his PDA, he put his conference channel on the security local line. “Ghram, where is everyone,” he spat, awaiting the droning voice of that Minmatar. However, there was no reply.

“Ghram,” Ragnar prodded again into the air, but still there was silence. Only the wavering squeak of his voice hung in the air.

Sensing all was not well in his palace, Ragnar scrambled to a drawer in the dinning room, and exhumed a Taggart QL-17 Military Pistol. Fumbling a few buttons, the gun switched on and began to rhythmically hum in E minor. Ragnar’s hands shook the hunk of metal as his breathing began to fill the room. Looking at his palm, he scanned for any outside emergency lines, hoping for someone to be listening. However, the screen blankly presented a brief message: “Satellite out of range.”

He placed himself straight against the wall, near the door to the main hall. Spinning out with weapon extended, nothing caught his eye, and there was still no one there. The doors were still open, flooding the breeze’s chuckle into the house. There was nothing there but the warm afternoon’s sun rays. Perhaps he was being paranoid, he thought.


Jolting his pistol back into the air, Ragnar’s head and eye darted around the ceiling, trying to justify that the sound was not his imagination. It came from upstairs. It was not a footstep, or furniture being up-ended. Something was up there. Shuffling his feet over, he made for the stairs and moved up to the second floor, the wooden floor boards under the layer of carpet creaking with every other step.

Ragnar slowly advanced through the hallway of his second floor, his eyes wide as the walls. The lights were off and there was no illumination save the sunrays peaking through the open door to his office at the end of the hall. Nothing was moving or making a sound, but in the air there was a stained smell. It smelled familiar, but he could not place his finger on it, as it was nothing he remembered smelling in or near his Taggart presidential office.

Looking down, he saw a small spot of residue on the floor, much darker than the wood planks it was on. Ragnar squatted down to touch the spot, and his finger came up smeared with red. Rubbing it with his thumb, it covered the pads of his finger skin. He confirmed what he suspected by placing his finger on his tongue.


Ragnar shot his head up to the ceiling, and saw the door to the folding stairwell in the ceiling. The sting that hung from the door was running with blood, with a smaller red blotch encircling the base of the pull-down string. The ladder would fold down towards the end of the hall. Staying underneath the hinge, he reached for the string, grasped it, and pulled. His hand slipped from the sting sending it dancing into the air, and his palm was streaked with blood. He again reached for the string and wrapped his hand in the string, and violently gave it a tug. The attic door swung open.

Inquisitor Cruciatus
Posted - 2003.10.30 20:44:00 - [3]

Out tumbled a mass of bodies, at least a dozen, as they collided with the ladder and the floor, landing with sickening snaps and crunches. They came to a dead halt on the floor, as other bodies fell down and began to block the hallway. Ragnar could only stumble back and fall to the floor. The urge to flee once again consumed him, as he staggered to his feet and made for the stairway to the main door, the smell of deceased flesh enveloping his senses.

“Calle,” shouted Ragnar into his PDA while running through the hall. “Get the boat ready for immediate emergency launch!” He threw his PDA down on the floor and continued running, unaware that there would be no response from the dock crew, nor would there be a boat.

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As Ragnar entered the main hall on the second floor, his eyes were immediately fixated on a humanoid form in the doorway. Humanoid because he could not see any other distinguishing edges on the object. There was nothing but a curtain painted in deep black, standing unmoving in the middle of the floor. All light seemed to be trapped as the early afternoon glow seemed to set into dusk. The figure slowly looked up at Ragnar, and a ghastly pale visage unveiled itself. It cast a tight gaze of dread directly on the former Taggart president. The face of the specter let a gash, that on a god-fearing man might have been a smirk, cross its face. Finally, as if knowing its presence had finally soaked in, it raised an arm at the second level, and fire erupted from its hand.

Ragnar fell to the floor as wood and plaster burst all around him. Covering his head, he crawled back into the hallway, and tried to get back to his feet. He slammed his shoulder against the left wall, and regained some balance, as the hail of gunfire pursued him. His feet pounded against the floor just as his heart pounded against his ribcage. The gunfire ceased, but he did not slow down for one footstep. He looked back, and was horrified to see that demon was already up the stairs and moving towards him. It didn’t even walk. It just glided along the floor like a hawk swooping down on a mouse. The more Ragnar looked at it, the more the chalk-faced ghoul seemed to close the walls in around him and suck the air right out of the hall.

The former Taggart president turned the corner and came across the attic stairwell, and the new fleshly dam of his former servants and protectors. He hesitated and slowed down to look for another escape. He tried a door on the left; it was locked. He kicked the door on the right; it wouldn’t budge. He would have tried again, but the fiend had turned the corner as well, and Ragnar had no other choice, as grisly a decision as it was.

He pushed himself off the wall and made for the office, the walls around him flowering with debris as the devil resumed fire. Leaping into the air, Ragnar tried to clear the rampart of corpses, but his knees caught the top of the pile, and his face flipped over and landed in a mattress of blood and gore. Still the gunfire rained around him, and Ragnar pathetically crawled over the bodies away from the terror, his body and clothes drenched in bodily fluids. He pushed himself to his feet, and sprinted for his office, the thing in black still on his tail and having no problem with the barricade of mankind.

With a leap, Ragnar entered the room and slammed the emergency panel next to the door. A titanium sheet swiftly fell over the orifice, blocking the ghoul from entering easily. Ragnar ran behind his desk and overturned it, making himself a small barrier to hide behind, and trained his gun on the door. There was a long pause. Ragnar saw nothing happening in front of him. Then something struck his thoughts, as he peered deeper into the door. The sheet of metal began to bend inwards. He could not believe his eyes, but snapped out of it as he fired into the door, carving big holes in the wall. Once he had stopped firing, he looked at the door, and hoped that he had gotten his pursuer. Ragnar tried to catch his breath.

Suddenly an explosion of white blanketed the room as the wall on Ragnar’s left gushed in as a bookcase flew into the room. The former president ducked behind his desk for cover, then popped up to see if he could see into the dust. He thought he saw something, and fired. The thing moved in another direction, and again he fired. The black form was on top of him, and one of its limbs grabbed Ragnar’s gun hand. Ragnar tried to fire, but the demon’s grip was much too strong, as the crunching of his wrist bones filled to room, and the pistol fell to the floor. The other limb picked him up by the shirt, and threw him into the room where the ghoul came from, breaking through the wall, and knocking the wind out of Ragnar.

Inquisitor Cruciatus
Posted - 2003.10.30 20:45:00 - [4]

He tried to get up, but his body would not let him. His mind cursed at his limbs, but they were too tired and frightened to continue. A shadow was cast over Ragnar’s face, and his eyes looked up to see the grim visage of his assassin, its black clothes not even dusty from the soot. The figure squatted down and hunched over the former president’s head like a vulture about to peck.

Good afternoon Mr. Danneskjöld, ” Inquisitor Doradus hissed, the smile on his face cracking across like a dry riverbed. “ You have been extended an invitation.

+ + +

Pawns can become anything but the King that commands them. The resurrection of the Queen can be the power move to secure the game, and the Rook can be a lumbering hulk to keep enemies from regrouping. Even the Knight with his unusual path of attack can pick apart the enemy line. But often the Bishop is forgotten, much to the detriment of the player. The Bishop can sidestep many pieces and strike hard and fast into the heart of the opponent, and slip back without pursuit.

Why do you think the Bishops sit next to the King and Queen?

+ + +

Slipping the clone file into his black trench coat, the Inquisitor walked back to his explosive bundle and attached it to the capsule of the slumbering Danneskjöld clone, next to several hundred other dormant past or present Taggart executives. Faces he had once held demonic malice for, to the point to desecrating their dead frozen bodies and tearing apart all pictures of them he saw.

It was a time long ago. He was no longer that Brutor savage, that corrupted Oracle operative, that violent Peacekeeper, that man perfected of flesh and blood, or that man once known as Wahpekute Assiniboine.

He was now reborn.

He was Inquisitor Cruciatus.

Tapping a few keys on the display panel, the Inquisitor activated the NVA manufactured bomb, and swiftly left the area, his presence undetected. He exited through the ventilation ducts, and dropped to the ground outside the Taggart cloning facility on New Caldari. It was a dark night, no moons to shine light on the streets. Though Cruciatus would have no problem blending in better than his other kin, due to his dark Minmatar skin, he still stuck to the dark alleys. Walking casually, he pulled out a switch and flicked it. Behind him blossomed a flower of fire and ash, as the building spewed destruction from its side like a deep wound.

With a smile, the Inquisitor disappeared into the night.

+ + +

“The end game is where the Pawns prove their worth. When it comes down to a few last pieces, and all your forces have been thinned out, the Pawns prove to be the key to survival. They make for the final row and throw themselves at everything they see. But if you nurture your Pawns, rather than neglect them, they will see you prevail in your last moves.”

The holographic chess board was laid out on the table between two smoking chairs, one with a pair of legs protruding from the seat. The board held the pieces that signified what was the end game of the battle. White had three Pawns, a Knight, three Bishops, and a Rook. Black had two pawns and a Knight. The pieces shifted silently as the gaming implants transferred thoughts into moves. White made quick moves while Black tried to delay the inevitable. Before long there were no more moves to make, and a banner scrolled across the top of the board reading “Checkmate! Checkmate! Checkmate!” accompanied by a digital fanfare of music and electronic green fireworks.

Inquisitor Cruciatus
Posted - 2003.10.30 20:46:00 - [5]

“Well,” said the White player, satisfied with a victory. “Very good game my friend. Though it is obvious you have not had time to develop your game, you play very well for a man in your condition.”

There was no response, though it was desperately attempted.

The White player got up out of his chair and readjusted his fine expensive suit, walked over to the other chair, and looked down into the seat.

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“There are some games that you cannot just quit and leave, my friend,” continued the White player. “I myself have not quit playing the game, but have rather stopping being the pieces on the board, and become the player behind the pieces. It’s too bad you could not learn to think outside the playing field. You would have made a good player.”

The head inside the life-support jar tried once again in vain to plea and beg for mercy, but the White player’s did not heed to sympathy.

“If only your father had taught you how to play chess. Goodbye Mr. Danneskjöld.”

With a graceful movement, a finger reached down and flipped a switch. The light inside the globe turned off, and the head shuddered around before falling still. A display panel read, “Life Support Terminated.” The White player looked down on the jar with elapsed amusement, and walked away from the chair, leaving the feral growling of a pet to glare and sc**** its hairy paw against the globe of the deceased former president of Taggart Transdimentional.

+ + +

Doradus sat in his lair of human wallpaper, browsing through news reports of friction in the NVA and TTi peace process with reserved delight, when a familiar face appeared on the main screen of his computer layout.

“How may I assist you,” the Inquisitor introduced, slicing the air.

“I have read the news,” the face spoke. “Cruciatus has done well in his first big assignment.”

A half-frown grimaced on the Inquisitor’s lips. “Yes, he did not fail.”

“That might almost be a compliment coming from you on his behalf. Did you arrange the late Danneskjöld’s estate properly?”

“I found a few NVA ‘volunteers’ to be left at the scene, and the gunfire evidence is marked with NVA ammunition and weapons. Taggart will come across it when they do their weekly check up. I expect the news to break in four days.”

“Good, as long as there is conflict in Venal and Curse, the peace mongering will be frowned upon. These hostilities have taken the first steps towards what we hope to be a great achievement and standard of warfare for the future. Soon we will need to make the alliances’ other involvements very clear to each other.”

Doradus glanced back to the pile of papers on one of his desks. “There are some who suspect things along the lines of the plan. Certain people should be disposed of, yes?”

“They look and sound like fools now and will be ignored. When it happens they will be inconsequential. There is no need to waste time on silencing paranoid miners. Continue as planned. System out.”

The screen blanked out, leaving the ghoul to himself. He wandered over to his chair, and reclined back in comfort. Looking over to his walls, Doradus fantasized about the day he would put Cruciatus’ face on his tapestry.

- fin -

Vel Kyri
Empire Assault Corp
Dead Terrorists
Posted - 2003.10.31 06:42:00 - [6]

Most excellent!

Band of Brothers
Posted - 2003.10.31 09:12:00 - [7]



Ships Unlimited
Posted - 2003.10.31 22:54:00 - [8]


Hodokie Seek
Old Farts Drinking Club
Posted - 2003.11.01 21:48:00 - [9]


Gentlemen's Agreement
Posted - 2003.11.02 07:55:00 - [10]

It's been too long....


Ebil never dies...

But apperently goes into hibernation at times... No longer.

Some are pieces on the playing field.
Some are players and commands the pieces.
Some are gamemakers and dictates the players.

Dont let us wait too long for the next 'piece'.

Jade Constantine
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2003.11.05 04:42:00 - [11]

I think monsieur Cruciatus, we should talk.

- most excellent.

Destructive Influence
Band of Brothers
Posted - 2003.11.20 00:33:00 - [12]

Awesome cant wait for anotherLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughingLaughing


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