I posted a new story today called I Kill for Money… well, it’s not actually a story as much as it is a few sample chapters from another EVE Online novel that I came up with. Unfortunately I have no immediate plans to write this story, but I still love these scenes so I decided I had better just go ahead and post it.
The story follows Vena and Deihlmin who are cybernetically enhanced assassins for the Gurista pirate faction as they pursue a Concord chief, unravel a tale of war and deceit and find themselves falling in love. I wrote these a couple years ago when I was still actively playing EVE Online. I had just written a story called The Atrocity Planners, which a while later was published in issue #22 of EON Magazine (originally this was titled My Gurista Mom and Dad, but I took it to a writer’s group meeting at the local sex club and they gave me some wonderful suggestions including the new title). Anyway, the Vena character from The Atrocity Planners is the same Vena, all grown up of course, in this new novel idea. It’s not mentioned in the sample chapters but the idea of course, is that there’s a lot of back story about how she dealt with the tragedy that occurred in The Atrocity Planners.
A lot of the action-adventure details for this novel aren’t worked out yet, but I have a pretty clear idea of the characters, which is usually more important. Vena is a professional, trained from childhood for many facets of war. She has a shady history having been raised by pirates with frequent hardships, rolled with drug smugglers in late childhood and became a prostitute as a teenager. This allowed her to begin purchasing her cybernetic enhancements, which rapidly became an addiction. Through her late teens she spent the majority of her income on stolen military-grade implants and mental interface software. These implants led her back to the Gurista faction where she was hired and gave up prostitution and drug smuggling in favor of professional killing and espionage.
Vena was escaping from her childhood trauma and the difficulties she endured as a teenager. She escaped into her cybernetic implants, which finally gave her the sense of control over her own emotions and the power to manipulate the situations around her. The computers allowed her to escape her own life and as time went on she started to forget which parts of her were human and which were machine. She began playing characters for the Guristas, adjusting her personality to fit whatever mission. As she says in the second chapter, “ The best actors don’t act, they become.” But now she’s been infiltrating and playing parts for nearly a decade and she can no longer tell which character is actually Vena and can’t tell the difference between real love or passion and technological manipulations designed to accomplish a mission.
Deihlmin, on the other hand, grew up straight, in a wealthy family. He got bored with life and started buying implants in his early teens, but soon learned that the implants couldn’t help him do anything satisfying other than getting away with crimes. He started with petty crimes, simply for the fun of getting away with something and in a few years had moved up to drug smuggling. He too became a little addicted to artificial enhancements, though was careful not to lose his personality within the machine. Then, a group of smugglers he was working with on a particularly large score, were busted by Concord and he watched his friend get beaten to death. Deihlmin was able to escape, but the police already had all his information, so he realized he could never return to the straight world. He was taken in by the Guristas who sympathized with his experience and he fell in love with the pirate lifestyle. Now that he had a score to settle with Concord within a few years he worked himself up to one of the Guristas elite infiltration soldiers.
So we’ve got two killers. Deihlmin truly believes the Guristas are the good guys, sees Concord as evil and wishes to fight them any way that he can. Vena simply kills for money. She tells herself the Guristas are the good guys, but deep down inside, doesn’t know if she’s sure.
Ultimately they unravel a conspiracy that goes through some top level officials in Concord and discover that many of them have been directly working with Gurista leadership in an attempt to keep a balance to the war, so that neither faction gains ground, but the local military industry, which of course has deep ties to both sides of the conflict, profits dramatically.
The story would explore the nature of criminal justice and the drive for violence through seemingly moral purposes. Like my first EVE Online novel, Against a Rock, there would be a lot of action, violence and suspenseful surprises, and the characters, of course, are not the most morally upstanding individuals. But unlike Against a Rock, this book would have a love element with just a hint of sexy stuff… but alas, I probably won’t write it any time soon unless by some miracle I get a real book deal