"..The enemies of the outside had to be defeated and the enemies of the inside controlled." The Scriptures, Book II
The feed shows Shalee perched on a crate inside the cargo hold of her Retribution, hiding away from the world. She wears her flight uniform with her hair hanging messily around her pale face. Dark smudges beneath her eyes reveal a lack of sleep. Absently she tosses a data pad from hand to hand as she taps her boot against the crate.
"I've been so busy I've not been keeping up with this. For days my main concern was the war front, I barely slept, just kept pushing myself to get out there and make a difference."
"I've flown with a lot of different people over the last odd week or so, both in the militia and in pure golden fleets. Usually I avoid militia because I'm still so new to it all and really don't want to horribly embarass myself, or the Praetoria for that matter. However if Invelious is FCing I will join up. Theres something about him that I like, I feel comfortable under his command."
"I've even flown with Captain Newelle a time or two and from what I can tell, she doesn't hold a grudge from what we had talked about in the Basilica. I have so much respect for her, even if she is the brass."
She exhales a long, frustrated breath.
"Well, everything had seemed okay up until last night..."
Distress etches her delicate features.
"It was like a nightmare. I was at the Basilica talking with Garst and Darius when Zenton showed up. I went over to speak with him and he couldn't even look me in the eye. In that moment I knew something was wrong. I could just feel it, like a heavyness laying on me. I started to panic as I asked him what he had done...?"
"One frackking word and my whole world came undone. I didn't want to believe it but at the same time, I could feel it was true, the way he was looking at me, so intense, so harsh. It wasn't a god damned joke."
"I just fell apart. I couldn't help it...I mean, gods, Zenton? Doing piracy? It was too unfrackingbelievable. I've loved him for so long now and thought I knew everything about him.... but no...it was all a lie."
"So then, everything else becomes a blur. I knew that there were others nearby but I didn't care. I just started screaming at him, begging him not to do this, pleading with him to tell me it was a lie...and he wouldn't."
She flicks the tips of her fingers across her cheek swiping away a tear as their final words echo through her mind over and over.
"I am sorry Shalee."
"What am I supposed to do now? Just let you go? Just say okay, be a god damned pirate knowing that it is forbidden for me to talk to you once you go red? Just pretend like you're not breaking my heart? I don't even know who you are anymore. How could you do this to us? I've fought so hard to be here with you and you're just throwing it all away ... I hate this. I hate it...I hate what you are becoming...
"I...I need to go."
" ...you're leaving me."
"Go then. Just go."
"And so he left. I fell apart and thank God Darius was there to pick up the pieces. He helped me out of the Basilica and somewhere along the way I vaguely remember Leopold there, smirking as if he found it all very amusing. I think he said something to me but for the life of me I can't remember what it was now. I was in a complete daze."
"Darius stayed and talked with me until I was calm enough to go home alone. He he was so very kind, I will never forget it. As soon as I left him I got a call from Mitara asking me if I knew anything about Zenton's leaving the Praetorian comm channels. Of course I lied and told her no."
"And after that I just laid awake all night, obsessing over it and then this morning I went to the Praetoria head quarters to see if I could find anything out. Zenton was still listed on the flight schedule and I didn't hear any talk out in the public hall about his leaving."
"I hung around for a while to see if Mitara would show up, hoping to discreetly find out anything at all. While I was waiting I ran into Leopold again. What a bastard. He didn't say anything, though I could tell by that arrogant little smirk that he wanted to. I was a bit rude to him and got called out by Lieutenant Hiigaren."
"Ensign Jhaelee came over because she could tell I was upset. She got me away from Leo and sat and talked with me for a long time...but then I just had to leave. I was just on the verge of tears and really didn't want to break down in public like that. Especially not near the headquarters."
"Everything seems so wrong, it's like a nightmare that I can't wake up from. Zenton? How could he do this to us? It just makes no sense, I put so much faith in him, loved him beyond everything...and he betrays me?"
"I feel like dying.."
"...if only that were possible."