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My name is Hallan Turrek. This is my blog.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Closer To Home

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battle raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms

"Forgiveness is free. Why was it so hard for me to give it away?" Hallan stared at the casket. He ran his hand along the smooth metal and gripped the handle. He clenched it tightly and closed his eyes.

Hallan sighed and let his hand release the handle. He turned and walked down the steps and towards the door of the funeral home, passing empty seats as he did so. The director followed him from the casket to the door, their footfalls echoing in the empty hall.

"There's the small matter of the bill, sir," the director stated rather sheepishly, holding out a data pad in Hallan's direction. Hallan pressed his thumb to the data pad and the director disappeared into his shadows again.

Hallan opened the door to the funeral home. An elderly Achura female stood outside and looked into his eyes as he looked up. He winced at the sun as it shined behind her. Gray clouds hovered in the distance over a forest. Soon they would overtake the sun and the rain would come.

"This is your fault," She started as he walked past her, the wind blowing his long black coat behind him.

"How is it my fault?" He asked, turning around to face her.

"You were out having fun in your pod. He stayed here. He tried to start a family. You're his big brother, you were supposed to protect him. You weren't there when he needed you. You could've been there for him. He was your brother! He's dead. Hal, doesn't that mean anything to you?"

"Go fuck yourself, Mom," He saw the tears welling up in her eyes and he turned away from her.

"Where are you going? The service is about to start," She said quietly.

"I'm going to find the guys that did this, and make them pay,"

Hallan opened the door of the Taxi and sat down inside, "Take me to the spaceport," He said to the AI driver.

As the clouds moved in front of the sun, Hallan closed his eyes and let it rain.


The rain outside fell heavily on the taxi as it came to a stop. Hallan stepped outside of the car and pulled his coat tighter around him. The tall buildings that surrounded him reflected the dark clouds above, and he fought his way through the crush of people to reach the building in front of him.

This was New Caldari Prime, fourth planet in the New Caldari system. Since the exodus from Gallente space, the Caldari had built themselves an empire. Nowhere near as large as the Amarr or or Gallente empires, it's military might rivals that of any of the great powers.

Standing at the base of one of the corporate skyscrapers on New Caldari prime, Hallan could almost imagine the CEO's plotting behind their plasteel windows. He didn't need to talk to them today though, he needed to go to the bar.

The inside of the building was just as packed with people trying to get to and from work. The people droned about like sheep. Water dripped from his hair as he looked up at the signs, and the water running off his coat began to form a puddle on the tile floor. He saw the sign he was looking for and headed in the direction it pointed him towards. He found the bar tucked behind the elevator. He locked the door and turned to walk further inside.

As he walked in, he allowed his eyes a moment to adjust to the light. The floor was carpeted and there was a faint burning smell in the air. There were booths along the wall, and a few tables in the middle of the floor. The chairs were tall and wooden, and the stools along the bar were made of a clear material. A single chandelier hung from the ceiling in the middle of the room to provide a bit of light, and allow for the dark corners that such a place needed.

"Trieze?" Came a voice from behind the bar, "I thought you were dead,"

"My brother is dead," Hallan said walking closer to the man, "Who are you?"

"We're closed," The man spoke from behind two bulbous lips. His eyes were sunken in a head that proved a size to large for his body. The man was skinny but tall. He wore a t-shirt and carried a towel.

"How closed?" Hallan asked, sitting down on a stool.

"Very closed. Look, I liked your brother. He was a nice guy, always paid his tabs on time. It's a shame something happened to him, but that's life right?"

"You talk a lot. If you got something to hide, I don't think I'll be leavin' anytime soon," Hallan reached into his coat pocket and fingered his gun.

"Yeah, I don't know anything," The man began to walk towards the kitchen door as Hallan pulled his pistol from his pocket. He pulled back the hammer and the man stopped as he heard the click.

"You know, they put a hole in my brother's head the size of a pea. Up close and personal. You know what that's like?" Hallan smiled as the man slowly turned around.

"I'm glad I've got your attention. You know something. That something may just be enough to save your life," Hallan cocked his head to the side as the man's eyes widened.

"Look, it's not me ok? It's the Serpentis. Your brother was in with 'em. Deep. I used to have him sell the stuff here but he started sampling his own stock. One day, 'bout a month ago they started coming in here looking for him. Said he had an outstanding bill. They started to threaten me. Last I seen of your brother here was a week ago, and when he left one of the regulars was followin' him out. Don't ask me why he came back, I don't know, but the next day they found him floatin' in the Yul," The man had backed up to the kitchen door and was staring Hallan's gun down.

"Got a name on the regular who was followin' him?"

"Yeah, he's got a tab here. Horane Besaka. Brutor. I was going to warn your brother about it, that's how's I remember the name,"

"Thank you," Hallan said as he got up to go.

"He never stole from me, always paid me on time," The man started, "If he'd just sold the stuff, this never would've happened. You know, your brother was a good man,"

Hallan fired a single shot, and only the sound of hammer coming down rang through the bar as the bullet flew through and out of the bartenders head.

Hallan walked over and looked down at the bartender, "I told you, my brother is dead."


A Week Ago

"I've been following you since the club. Going back was really dumb,"

Treize Turrek stood with his hands against a wall. The alley was dark, and Caldari Prime's moonless sky provided nothing but the twinkle of stars to illuminate the night. The man behind him was patting him down and held a gun against the small of Treize's back. The gunman pulled a wallet and several packets from Treize's pockets.

"I just need a little more time," Treize started as the gunman interrupted him.

"My boss says you don't get any more time," The man took a step back and cocked his gun.

Trieze spun around and tackled the man, knocking him to the ground and causing the gun to fire harmlessly into the sky. Treize smacked the man's hand off the ground until he dropped the gun, then Treize grabbed it, scrambled to stand, and ran down the alley.

The gunman followed him to the end of the alley and turned to follow in the direction he'd gone. Treize had already disappeared, and the man slumped his shoulders.



"Where are you?" The girl's face on the vidscreen was almost pleading.

Treize leaned uncomfortably down and whispered into the microphone, "I can't tell you right now, but I'll be at your apartment before the night's out," Treize leaned back and looked up and down the street.

"Alright Treize, be careful," The girl's sadness had transformed into happiness in an instant. Despite his precarious position, he was pleased with himself for that very fact. He allowed himself to smile for a moment.

"You uh, you need anything?" He asked the question as though he already knew the answer.

"No actually, I've got some here already," Her smile hadn't broken yet.

"Uh, really? Ok," Treize looked up and down the street again, "We'll talk about it when I get there,"

"We can. I love you Treize,"

"I love you too Kat,"


"Get me the Caldari State Police," Hallan sat at a desk in a dimly lit apartment as his vidphone flashed to life in front of him.

"CSP, how can I direct your call?" Came the automated message.

"This is Hallan Turrek," He leaned back and watched the screen flicker as a person answered.

"Hey! Hallan," The girl on the other side of the phone was fairly cheery, and Hallan smirked to himself, "We've got you on cameras at the scene of a crime today at 12:46. I assume that's why you're calling?"

"Yeah, that's it," He chuckled at the look on the girl's face as she read the charges.

"Are you calling as a witness or suspect?" She looked back at him and began that strange smile again.

"Suspect, I'd like to lodge a guilty plea," Hallan reached over to a gun on his desk and picked it up. He ran one hand down the top of it as he spoke.

"That's fine sir, but the bartender you killed was a level three businessman," The girl's smile was unbroken, and he imagined she was smirking a bit now.

"What?" Hallan put the gun down and the smile left his face.

"Yes, I'm afraid he owned that bar, two brothels and ran a weapons depot for the Caldari Navy. The fine for his death is thirteen million credits," A thumb print appeared in the upper right corner of the screen and Hallan pressed his thumb to it.

"Thank you for your continued patronage Hallan Turrek. If you'd like to look into our group rates I'd be happy to show you some packages,"

"You've been looking at my file haven't you?" He asked, the smile coming back.

"Yes I have sir, and I get the feeling you're not done yet,"


"I have the permits already Korvan," Hallan said to the Gallente on the other side of the vidphone.

"You really need me to come all the way over there?" Korvan was fiddling with something off camera.

"I really do, they deal in boosters and it'll be my luck that some idiots got a quick draw implant and X-booster," Hallan put a hand on his gun again.

The microphone on Korvan's side picked up a muffled scream, a blast, and silence.

"I can make some time for it man but we're even now. You know how much I get paid for this kind of thing on a regular basis?" Korvan picked up a towel and began to wipe the end of his gun.

"Way less than you made on the Kurkanski job and you got me to thank for that,"

"You ever gonna let me forget that?"

"One of these days,"

"Gimme a few hours, I gotta tie up some loose ends here,"

"That's fine, I gotta get some armor out of storage,"

"Low profile Fullerene?"

"Good god yes,"

"Just like the good ole' days," Korvan shifted and set his gun across his lap.

"Yeah, remember Ivar?" Hallan looked away from the vidphone for a moment and laughed.

"Man, you ever think about getting back into the game?" Korvan was grinning as well as he spoke.

"Nah, I got my hands full right now,"

"God damned pirate. Heh," Korvan shook his head.

"It pays the bills," Hallan said raising his hands up.

"Yeah, I uh, I gotta go, I'll see ya in a few hours," Korvan stood up and turned.

"Peace man," Hallan pressed a button on the side of the phone and stood up himself as it powered down.


It was shaped a bit like an egg. It flew end over end towards the dimly lit second floor plasteel window. It smacked into the window with an oddly wet noise. It exploded softly and clung there. On the inside the man sleeping next to the window stood up and looked outside.

"Hey guys, something sh..." He managed to get out before the grenade released a neutron radiation pulse into the room. The noise was considerable but the lights in the rest of the house didn't come on. Korvan and Hallan waited outside the house beside the front door on either side.

The house was, fortunately, all on it's own in the rural district, and the commotion they were about to cause was unlikely to disturb anyone else. Hallan was glad of that, he didn't have permits for public disturbance.

Hallan nodded to Korvan as the door opened.

"James?" The man said as he stuck his head just outside the door.

Korvan's thermal pulse laser caught the man in the temple and Hallan was already moving to take a position inside the doorway. Korvan rushed inside as well and took up a position opposite Hallan in the hall, who then moved down the hall to the living room. Hallan's silenced pistol fired twice and Korvan moved up the hall to provide cover. He noticed a body draped across a center table and on the couch.

Someone moved from the kitchen into the living room, firing a gauss pistol along the way. The impact of the round to his chest barely fazed Hallan as he fired a single shot at the man, who dropped immediately.

"Helmets on," Korvan said quickly, as the armor sprang up and formed a protective shield around their heads. Korvan moved ahead of Hallan and crouched in the entryway of the kitchen. Hallan then moved ahead of him and trained his gun up the stairway in the kitchen.

Hallan barely had time to notice the movement when a huge flash of light came flying down the stairs, bathing Hallan in brightly glowing fire. Hallan muttered to himself and looked at Korvan, who just smiled.

"Plasma rifles in close quarters, fucking brilliant," Hallan said, making his way up the smoking stairway. As he reached the top the smoking body of their assailant lay next to his rifle.

As Korvan walked by the body, he released a pulse from his laser pistol into the it for good measure. Hallan pointed at the door to the already cleared room, and then pointed at the only other upstairs room. Korvan kicked open the door of the room they'd thrown the grenade at and they both stood against the wall on either side of the door. Both men looked at their guns and then at each other. Hallan put his pistol into it's holster and pulled a katana from his back. Korvan pulled a handle from his belt and flicked it outwards. A dark black blade formed immediately, while the handle hummed. Korvan turned the sword sideways and looked down the blade.

"You always gotta one up me, don't you," Hallan said quietly, a bit of a smirk on his face.

"I don't spend any time on stations man, I can use a mono blade," Korvan effortlessly stabbed his sword through the wall and looked at Hallan, "But yeah, yeah I do,"

The Korvan went through the door and sliced the other bedroom door off it's hinges in a moment as Hallan quickly followed him into the bedroom. A man lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, not moving.

Hallan walked up to him and poked his shoulder with his sword. The man sat up immediately and screamed.

"What the fuck man?" The man still looked rather out of it as Korvan poked him again, "You want some fucking boosters man? You're dead. My boys'll come through that door any minute now and kill your sorry ass," The man chuckled and blinked a few times.

"Horane Besaka right?" As Hallan asked, the man nodded. Hallan nodded himself and said "I've been looking for you,"

"You... you need information?" The man asked quietly.

"Kinda," Hallan switched his sword to his right hand and grabbed the man by the hair.

"Oh fuck, don't!" The man screamed and began to cry.

"Jeez, a Brutor without a backbone. I'm not going to kill you, ya big pansy," Hallan looked up at Korvan, "Cut his head off,"

"On it," Korvan replied raising his humming sword.


"They're here," Korvan said, looking out the window as a number of headlights shined past him and into the now darkened house.

"Finally. I though Mr. Besaka's head was going to go bad on us," Hallan walked forward and looked out the window, "Wow, they brought a lot of people."

"You were counting on that weren't you?" Korvan looked amused as Hallan leaned back.

"They aren't Serpentis. They work for 'em, but they're just small timers," Hallan sighed, "This is as far as I can go up the ladder," He pulled out his gun and checked it's chamber, "And yeah, I was hopin' they'd bring everybody,"

"So, feel like keeping count?" Korvan pulled out his mono-filament blade and twirled it in his hand as he grinned.

"I use a gun. You use that?" Hallan asked with an eyebrow raised.


Hallan opened the door to the front yard, where over forty people were getting out of their cars. They all walked towards a rather stocky man with a huge snake tattoo running from his chest to his back. He wore no shirt, and carried a length of chain, spinning it as Hallan and Korvan approached.

"Kor," Hallan whispered.


"I need his head too,"

The man with the chain spoke up rather loudly, "What do you think you're doing here?"

"Uhm, what does it look like?" Hallan asked rather sarcastically.

"It looks like," The man with the chain continued, "You just killed a bunch of my boys, robbed their house, stole a bunch of boosters, and now you're in deep shit,"

"Kinda," Hallan said, running his hand along the handle of the gun on his hip.

"What'd I miss?" The man was wrapping the chain around his left hand as he spoke.

"Well one: we didn't rob the house yet. Two: we won't be stealing any boosters. Three: We're not in any kind of trouble. Four, and I believe this one to be the most important: I've got your dealer's head in a nanite bag," Hallan held up the bag and smiled softly.

Korvan flicked his blade out as the tatoo'd man rushed towards them. Hallan took careful aim with his pistol and said in a very even tone, "Well. Lets get to work,".


The man with the snake tattoo caught the swordsman by surprise. He quickly knocked him to the ground and the sword fell out of his hands. The man with the pistol was shaking as he raised his gun to fire, but the shot missed and the chain was soon around his neck.

"We got this guy, Thad," He heard his men say from behind him as he tightened the chain.

It was all over in seconds, and both of the assailants were dead. Thad stood up and dropped the chain to the ground, running inside the house. He raced up the stairs and ran into the bedroom.

Horane Besaka was sitting on his bed, rocking back and forth. He looked up at Thad as he came in.

"Thad, they killed everybody," He cringed as he spoke, "They were going to kill me. You guys showed up just in time," He leaned over the edge of the bed and vomited.

"Dude, what were they after?," Thad leaned against the wall.

"One of 'em was Treize's brother," Horane said while wiping his mouth.

"You told me you didn't get him,"

"I lost my gun though. He must've traced it back to me somehow," Horane was rocking himself back and forth again on the bed.

"But you didn't kill him," Thad moved to stand in the doorway.

"I didn't kill him,"


"That doesn't make any sense," Hallan looked down at the video output of the virtual world he'd created. The two men's heads were wired into the computer system in a tank next to him.

"They ain't lying," Korvan began, tapping on the glass.

"You don't have to stay you know," Hallan said without turning around, "I know you got paying customers,"

"I just wanted to make sure you were alright, Treize was a good man," Korvan hefted a gun and hooked it on his back, "Besides, you owe me breakfast,"

"It's a tie," Hallan said as he pointed at the tank and frowned, "You can't count them,"

"Whatever," Korvan turned around and grabbed the doorknob, "If you need any help again, let me know, alright?"

"I will," Hallan punched something into the computer as Korvan left.

A Week Ago

Treize looked down the hall he'd just come from. He imagined all kinds of demons had followed him, and yet, none were readily apparent. He knocked on the door, knowing he had too.

"Treize!" Came a voice from inside, and after some noise the door opened.

"Kat," He took a moment to look into her green eyes, framed with red hair. Her pleading face capturing him for a moment.

He walked inside and Kat's eyes went wide at the gun he had tucked into the back of his waistband, "Where did that come from?"

"Some guy was following me tonight," He walked into her kitchen and poured himself a glass of water, "It's alright though, I did everything I needed to do,"

"What does that mean?" She leaned forward.

"It means I'm leaving Kat,"

"When?" She closed her eyes as she asked the question.

"Tomorrow," He said, reaching forward to brush a strand of hair away from her face.

"Then we've got tonight,"


A Week Ago

It was warm. Treize awoke in the darkness and smiled. He ran his hand down Kat's arm and looked at her beautiful green eyes.

He slid himself out of bed and put his pants on, he struggled to get his shirt on, wincing at the bruises on his ribs. The streetlights provided just enough light for him to get his clothes on, and he opened the door of the bedroom.

"Tee?" He heard her say quietly as the door creaked open.

"I'm just heading out for bit babe, got a loose end to tie up. I'll be back before morning,"

"Ok, I'll be here,"

"I know,"


Hallan sat at his computer and stared at the wall. He looked down at his screen and muttered, "Lets see where you were spending your money,". A few moments later a surveillance video from a local store showed up on his screen, and his brother was making his way through the crowds with a red headed woman. Hallan froze the screen and zoomed in on the girl. He leaned back and ran a facial recognition scan.

A Week Ago

"I need about fifty thousand credits," Treize was at a public phone booth, talking to a man who may as well've been his twin.

"What the hell for?" Hallan asked him with rage in his voice.

"I can't tell you,"

"Then I can't give it to you,"

"I'm in trouble Hal, this isn't like the last time,"

"Or the time before that, or the time before that?" Hallan leaned into the camera as he shouted, "You're never going to learn if I keep bailing you out!" Hallan shifted his weight back onto his chair and let his finger hover above the keyboard, in sight of the camera, "Get yourself out of a mess for once, and maybe I'll help you next time."

The video went dead and Treize turned around, "He'll come around,"

"It doesn't sound like it," A tall but skinny man stood behind Treize with a gun trained on his back, "That was your one call,"

"Look, Riq, I can get the money. I've still got the boosters. I can sell 'em and get it,"

"Where are they Tre?"

"I don't have 'em on me Riq,"

"Bullshit, you gave 'em to that whore of a girlfriend,"

"Look, I can get you the money, It's me man. I've never fucked up before," Treize smiled nervously at the bartender.

"You did this time, and too many people know about it man. This is my fault as much as yours. I got familiar. You thought you could get away with shit that no one can get away with. Turn around," Riq motioned with his gun.

"Look, I..."

"I said turn around!" Riq held the gun out and pointed at Treize's head.

"Alright alright," Treize turned around and put his hands above his head.

"Walk," Riq said as he followed Treize onto the bridge they stood next too. Treize looked over the edge as his pace slowed.

"I ain't going any further," Treize put his hands down and slumped his shoulders.

"That's ok, this if far enough,"The man said from behind two bulbous lips.


Hallan walked down the street in the pouring rain. It'd been storming off and on for two days now. He checked the addresses as he walked.

A beautiful Caldari girl walked by, her t-shirt soaked through and through by the drenching rain. He looked down at her and smiled as she grinned back at him. He looked up at the apartment building he stood in front of. He turned around and looked at the river behind him. The Yul. If he walked a bit further he could cross it. He walked over to the video phone next to the bridge and shook his head. He looked back up at the apartment building and trudged through the rain to the door.

It was open, so he went inside. He checked the downstairs map for apartment numbers and found the one he was looking for. He walked into the elevator and hit the button for the forty-second floor.

The elevator dinged in succession as it passed floor after floor, before finally ending on the forty-second.

A Week Ago

Riq got off the elevator and sighed. He walked down the hall a bit and looked at the room numbers.

"Two, three, four, five, six, there we go," He knocked on the door three times.

"Treize, is that you?" Came a soft voice from inside, "Just a minute," He heard the door being unlocked from the other side and he pulled his gun out of his pocket as it opened, "Treize I..." She stepped back from the door with her mouth wide.

"He's busy," Riq said as he closed the door behind him.


Hallan closed the door behind him, but the smell was unmistakable. He covered his mouth and nose with his hand and walked into the living room of the apartment. Nothing seemed touched. He walked into the kitchen and checked the cabinets. A single glass sat on the counter, bone dry. He walked into the bathroom and checked the shower. He walked to the bedroom door, where the smell was strongest. He suppressed a gag as he opened the door.


CSP officers came in and out of the apartment building as Hallan stared out into the river. The raindrops made large splashes as the river flowed to his left. He looked up stream at the city, and downstream at the wilderness.

"Sir, we need to get your information," One of the officers yelled over the rain. He was standing a few feet away but Hallan pretended not to hear, "Sir," He repeated.

"I was looking into the death of my brother. I came here looking for answers,"

"Oh, alright sir. Since a crime was committed here, the surveillance videos are now public access. Hopefully that'll give you what you're looking for. You're Hallan Turrek?"

"Yeah, you could say that,"


"You're a real son of a bitch, you know that?" Hallan stood over a grave as water streamed down his face.

The gravestone was slick and shiny in the rain, with the words "Brother, Son, Friend," emblazoned beneath his name. "Turrek," The sky above was almost black, and Hallan's face was clouded.

"I'll make sure they bury her here," He started, "I don't know who she was, but you cared,"

Hallan lifted his head and looked across the field of gravestones, it stretched into the distance, beyond his sight.

"We didn't get to talk much, the last time. So, you know, mom's still mom. I got hired by a pirate corp a month ago. I know you used to enjoy the stories. Why?" Hallan let the last word hang on the air a moment.

"It couldn't have been that bad. The bartender? Seriously? You call me up and say you want money? Tell me somebody's going to kill you," Hallan kneeled down beside the gravestone and leaned on it, "You're my brother. I didn't know,"

"You probably think this is funny, but I cut a path of destruction trying to find out who did this too you. The bartender was my first lead. I killed him so he couldn't warn anybody, figured he had it coming anyhow.

I must've watched the video twenty times. He's the guy. You could've taken him. You let him shoot you like a dog. Did you think it would save her?

It doesn't make me better. I thought he was innocent. I never claimed to be a good man. That was your thing.

I want you to know I love you and I cared about you. We'll meet again one day," Hallan stood up and sighed.

"I'll see ya around," He walked across the graves and to his taxi. He looked back at the grave for a moment, one long moment, and then sat down inside the car.

Somewhere above him, the clouds lessened, and a momentary ray of sunlight shined through, before the clouds closed again.


Hallan frowned as the shuttle began to accelerate towards the end of the runway. He was pressed into his seat as the shuttle began to pick up speed, and the sudden change of orientation as it went up the ramp was jarring as he looked out the window. He felt the engines begin a hard burn as the shuttle began to fly into the sky. In a few minutes the ship had passed the outer atmosphere, and he looked down at his home world.

The huge gray clouds that were ever present over some part of the planet were moving away from the Capital. He sighed at the visibly darker clouds over the cities. He could see the moon in the distance, and was pretty sure he could make out the station that held his Rifter.


Hallan piloted his rifter very carefully into his hangar at Kaalikota. He'd caught something about a Dominix fighting some angel cartel in a belt as he'd warped in. His corp mates, the Bastards had the situation well in hand

Hallan climbed out of his pod, took a shower, put his clothes on and then stuffed a few things into his pockets. He walked out of his ship and nodded to the hangar technician, who walked onto the ship.

Hallan made his way to his office and pulled a picture of his brother out of his pocket. He set it down on his desk and sat down.

Hallan closed his eyes for just a moment and fell asleep in his chair.