Shards of morning light pierced the stained glass window and cast a myriad of colors across Shalee's tear stained face.
She sat limply in front of the alter with her cheek pressed against the cool marble, staring up at the historical scene captured in colored glass.
Tears trickled down her face and every so often her choked sob would break the eerie silence of the cathedral.She had been there for hours, sitting, praying, sobbing, pacing, pleading with God for answers.Earlier, sometime during the middle of the night, on her way home from a night out ballroom dancing with Davlos, she'd gotten the message of Michael's murder.
She couldn't believe it, refused to. They had just spoken two days prior. He had come to her via holo, he had confided to her.And yet, his own brother released the news of his death. His flesh and blood. Surely he would know the truth?
The message played through her mind again, seemingly for the thousandth time.
"My name is Gabrael Priboj. I am Michael Priboj's brother. It is with a saddened heart that I must convey the news that at 05:49 EveTime Michael Priboj was involved in a passenger shuttle accident while taking off from his estate in Amarr. He did not survive. I am sorry that it has taken nearly three weeks for me to get the news to you, but I just found out myself yesterday. May God grant you comfort in this troubling hour."
She swiped her gloved hands across her face, wiping away the tears. After getting the message she went immediately to the cathedral of St Alms, hoping that somehow she could find Michael there, hoping that it was all some kind of mistake and that he would explain it all to her and calm her down like he had so many times before.
"Whats going on with you..I wish you could tell me but I know you wont."
"I'll put it this way. I'm in an active combat zone, fighting an enemy that doesn't seem to like anything with less legs than it has. While waiting on an enemy that has just as many legs as I do."
"I wish I could be there...or you here."
"I'll return soon. Just a soon as this particular individual is..... Well you already know who sent me on this mission, I might as well tell you everything about it."
"You can trust me, I wont tell anyone."
"I awoke one night in my quarters. There was a gentleman sitting in my chair that sits in my sleeping area, facing my bed. He was heavily.... modified. Cybernetically. He was Amarrian, that much was for certain. But his skin was pale as starlight. He lacked his right hand, and both legs. In their place were prosthetics. Like mine, but more advanced. Much more advanced. He told me that I had been chosen to fulfill a mission for the Empress. He provided me documents that proved that I was indeed hand picked, and my mission was of the upmost secrecy."
"Just like that? He didn't say how long it would take?"
"Which, might I remind you..... I am breaking the number one rule by continuing on this line of thought. The mission was to fly (In a very round about fashion) to a particular planet, deep on the other side of Mimnitar space, land (I use that term loosely... it was more like shoving myself into a magrail capsule and firing it at the planet) and waiting for my target. I was provided with equipment, files on other members of the team who would be joining me, and specific orders. Of the 5 who joined me, 3 made it to the planet, 1 didn't survive the "landing", and one of the other two discovered the wonderful.... locals."
"So, it's me and another Amarrian. He doesn't talk much, but he's very effective in hand to hand combat. Anyway... My target is Jovian."
"We don't know why the Jovians have decided to take a few of the locals. But they do come here very regularly for their pickups. I'd wager that the locals aren't too fond of being kidnapped and have decided that anything that isn't like them is bad. But I'm supposed to assassinate this Jovian, make it look like an accident, and transport the body back to Amarrian space. Judging from the large amount of biological modification this particular Jovian has, I'd wager that he's a scientist that is working on a cure for their sickness. And I'd also wager that The Empress wants some, if not all, of the modifications he's got."
All she could imagine was his ship exploding with him in it. Over and over she'd replay the macabre scene in her mind, imagining his sweet face moments before the explosion. But how had she seen him in the chapel? How had he come to her? Was it all a mistake? Could it be untrue, a ploy on the government's part? Or had she imagined the whole thing? Had she somehow had a 'spell' like she had on the planet with the Gallente massacre? Had she seen some past version of him somehow? None of it made sense to her.
But he had been there! Somehow, she had spoken to him, he had told her so many things. They had talked for hours and when he had to go he promised he'd come back to her.
"How is PIE?"
"You sound... upset."
"No! No. I'm not upset...I'm just worried about you. I want you to come back."
"I want to come back. I want to go home. But my needs are put aside right now. The needs of Amarr, Amarrians, and The Empress are more important."
"I suppose you're right, that I am being selfish for wanting you to come back."
"Selfish is such a strong word. I believe you're being.... You're wanting the support that I have provided to you."
"Completely selfish. A true word. Among other things."
"Unfortunately, it is I who have abandoned my duties as a support for you and have taken the want of a woman I've never met, and the needs of people I've never seen and made them mine own. It would seem that I, while not selfish, am being exceptionally cold, un-emotional, and un-caring."
"You have not abandoned me, I've always known you'd come back."
"If I make it back."
"Michael! Don't say such things."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you worry."
"Then you musn't say things like that. You will come back. You will."