"There is always a time to rest and contemplate the life we lead." The Confessional, Archbishop
"I will ask you this: What is more important to you, Zenton or PIE?"
" I don't have to choose. He is not forcing me to."
"You realize such close ties with a known pirate will hurt you?"
"They know how I feel about him."
"They do not care?"
"He isn't red to us, so...as long as it stays out of the public they arent likely to care. If he goes red though...well. I dont know."
"It is a matter of time untill he does."
"How can you know?"
"You realize how long I have been around killers and the like? "Pirates" as you call them. I know their tendancies."
"I don't know anything about you."
"You know I hold the keys to your salvation or ruin. I have already offered you salvation. Should you displease me I will disclose the information I have on you to Praetorian authorities."
"Why are you doing this to me? Why.."
"The reason is my own."
"You have no honor. I fulfilled my contract, I did my job and it is over. I am not that person anymore, and if you think you can blackmail me then think again. If you go to my superiors theres a good chance they wont believe you. And if they do.... I'll join Zenton and Ill make sure to tell him about these little threats against me. He wont like it."
She jolted up in bed, her heart racing as she frantically glanced around the dark room, trying to make sense of where she was. Realization slowly seeped through the fog of sleep, and she started to calm, realizing she had been dreaming.
She slid to the side of the bed and stood, trailing her hands through her long hair, trying to shake off the dream, though it'd do little good. Despite it being a dream, it had happened.
"Bastard." she whispered to herself as she padded across the thick carpet and sat in a chair by the window, activating both the camera & coffee drone.
"I really don't know where to begin. So many things have happened over the last three days."
She exhaled a long, frustrated breath as she mentally started piecing it all together, trying to remember what she had last recorded.
"He promised me that it was over, that it was some stupid mistake and that everything would be okay. He asked me to believe in him, in us. He said he loved me and wanted to be with me. He said "I promise that nothing like that will ever happen again."
She shook her head.
"He didn't even make it twenty four hours."
"He couldn't even tell me in private. He waited til I was surrounded by a few other pilots at Paradise before finding me and laying it on us all. Just like that, out of the fracking blue. It was as if all of the promises he had made, all of the things he said meant nothing. What was I supposed to think? He said one thing and did another, and then expected me to be okay with it? I wasn't sure what to believe at that point."
"And then he leaned over and whispered to me that it had nothing to do with us, that we were still okay.""As if I don't have a choice in the matter?"
"I lost it. He should know me better than that. He should know that I won't just sit by while he does this to himself. He has no idea what he is in for, he can't even begin to imagine the hell that he will someday face. Because it will happen. His actions will haunt him, every innocent life he has taken will haunt him."
"He halfheartedly tried to argue with me, saying that we kill the Minmatars every day, that it was the same thing. I told him no, it wasn't. Those are soldiers we fight, men and women who choose to be on the war front. It isn't the same at all. After that he could barely look me in the eye, and just ended up leaving."
"I didn't mean to get so drunk. Thank God Jhaelee and Darius was there, following me around to make sure I didn't end up doing something stupid. We left Paradise as the brass started pouring in and ended up at the Basilica. Leopold was there and I vaguely remember telling him that I wasn't in the mood for his sarcasm. I still haven't gotten around to sending him an apology..."
"The next day I woke up with a hellish hangover and decided that I wouldn't be any good out on the front line. I lounged around the apartment a bit and went stir crazy after a few hours. Anyhow, what's better for a hangover but another drink?"
"I ended up at Paradise and had a few drinks with Darius and Raphael. Raph and I had just talked the day before about Zenton, he had asked what my relationship was with him. I told him I had loved Zenton and he pretty much told me I was a heretic for even making such a claim. He said that love was a divine power and that only God can love and we shouldn't be so arrogant as to think we could be like him."
"Of course that set me off. He and I argued back and forth and finally called a truce on the subject because neither was going to relent. However, I found him easy to talk to on other subjects. I told him all about Garst..."
"The next day he must have had it on his mind because he brought it up again at Paradise. I told him he was wrong, that I had spoken to Michael Priboj about it and that Michael was both brass and a priest, so he'd know."
"That shut him up."
"I probably shouldn't have said it, I promised Michael I'd not bring it up with him, but it isn't my fault Raphael decided to bring it up with me." she said, followed by a heavy sigh.
Her thoughts drifted to Zenton again.
"Yesterday I promised Jhaele that I wouldn't check Zenton's security status. She knew how upset I'd be and wanted me to just take it easy while she and Darius went out to the warfront. I did as she asked for the entire day as much as it killed me to do so, until last night that is. It had dropped to negative 4.5. I felt sick and hurt and a thousand other emotions and all I wanted to do was talk to him. He wasn't answering his comms and I didn't know what else to do..."
She rubbed her hand across her face then to the back of her neck, kneeding the tight muscle.
"I went to look for him in the only place I could think of. In that moment I didn't care if one of Mitara's spies saw me there or not, I just wanted to find him. I ended up finding Koronakesh instead. Suprisingly he wasn't as much of a bastard as I've thought him to be these past weeks."
"As I was leaving the Last Gate, I got a comm call from VC."
She fell silent for a moment, lost in thought.
"It all makes sense now. Why he was watching me, why he had been comming me. He knows. He knows everything, who I was... what I've done. He wants me to leave the Praetoria, says I don't belong there, I told him it wasn't any of his business what I do now. And then...then he threatened me. He tried to blackmail me, demanding an obscene amount of isk and if I don't pay up, he will go to my superiors."
She shook her head.
"But I wont give in, I'm just not going to play his mindgames, I'm not going to let him play me like a puppet because I know his kind. If I did manage to scrape, borrow and plead that kind of money, it wouldn't be enough. He'd just do it again."
The conversation she had with Michael at St. Alms played through her mind.
"What could you have possibly done that would ruin your career in the Praetoria? I guess it doesn't matter. You're honestly repentiant about it. If you've asked God for forgiveness, and honestly try to live each day right by him, he gladly grants it."
"It matters. But I've changed. I'm not that person anymore."
"Have you been forgiven for it?"
"I have asked for forgiveness."
"But you don't feel as though you have been granted it."
"That doesn't matter, there are still consequences for certain actions, long after the crime has been committed."
"Very true. I am still responsible for my actions before I was a priest. Do you feel as though your actions before you joined PIE would warrant your dismissal should they be made public?"
"Why do you assume it was before I joined PIE?"
"Were that the case, can you really hold Zenton accountable for being two-faced and hypocritical?""No. And that is why I will not betray him."
"If you continue your sins, without remorse, how does that make you different from Zenton if he continues piracy?"
"I've not continued my sins."
"But you don't feel as though your forgiven. Why?"
"Forgiven by God, but by the Praetoria...I doubt it..."
She sighed heavily as she terminated the recording.