Saturday, 23 October 2010

Loss

The Velator disgorged its pilot into the transfer tube to the dock. Laria stormed down the tunnel, her expression etched into a frown. For the second time in as many days, she was fighting to hide the tears that threatened to creep from her eyes.

Oh, she'd taken the Instigation #1 into the engagement willingly, alright. Knowing that it could be lost. Knowing that her own life was at risk. But the impact of her ship disintegrating around her was something she hadn't expected. She'd flown that ship on many operations. Indeed, it had been the ship that had taken down the criminal Davan in that prolonged battle. It had done good service, and it deserved a better end than being snared and shot to pieces like it was nothing better than a Serpentis Scout.

Without conscious thought, she had made her way to her quarters. The "Message Waiting" display was flashing, as she entered. Still lost, her mind stuck on the dying, flailing, Incursus Frigate, she opened it. There was a picture of an Incursus Frigate, fresh off the production line and fitted out. She keyed its name into an instant reply, knowing that its registration would be instantly processed. Out of the ashes of Instigation #1 - and, Laria admitted ruefully, the insurance money - Instigation #2 rose like an angry phoenix. Laria would gain vengeance for her loss, she swore, the white knuckles of a tightened fist the indicators of her passion. She wasn't sure on whom, and she wasn't sure how, but vengeance would be served.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Must Be Something In My Eye

How many parents disown their child for joining the family business?

Laria Raven closed the mail on her datapad, and stood up. Across the square a fellow student, someone she knew by sight, had flown with on training missions, waved in her direction. She turned her face away, striding out of the public space. She had a reputation for being aloof, detached. Good. Sometimes it came in useful.And other times it came in essential. She strode on, aware that her movements seemed unnatural, robotic. Consciously, she leaned into the co-processing implant, letting the smooth logic flow into her mind. Calm is a state of mind that can be manufactured, she told herself.

The thunk of the door of her quarters closing was like a cool breeze across her skin. Safe. Away from prying eyes. She re-opened the mail. "We are dismayed at the choices you have made. Not only have you disobeyed our express wishes, and trained as a miner, but now you have left Gallente space and are living with the Minmatar." She could hear her father's voice, almost spitting the last word. It was a strange and unique prejudice he had - his world was ordered, Gallente first, everyone else at best ninety-fifth. For years, the Raven Mining Company had been hamstrung by his unwillingness to even allow ships to venture outside Federation space.

Laria closed the mail again. And, her finger hesitating for only an instant, stabbed the "Delete" option. So. Alone. Without hope of family support or recognition. She brought up another document on the pad, and, this time without pause or hesitation, indicated her agreement, and transmitted the enlistment papers. It was a big moment, signing up for a tour of duty in the Navy. A big decision. One that required concentration. That was why it had been difficult for her to see the papers. No other reason.