She entered into the Choonka apartment wearing a flight uniform with her damp hair hanging in a loose ponytail.
Yawning, she kicked her boots off by the door, discarded her jacket across the back of a chair, and unzipped her flight suit and left it haphazardly by the minibar.
She poured a stiff drink as she activated the recording drone.
Standing in front of the windows, she could faintly make out her reflection against the glass. Dark smudges beneath her eyes contrasted against her pale face. She looked tired, though there was no mystery why. Long patrols combined with sleepless nights, either with Saint, or missing him if he happened to be elsewhere.
And it didn't help matters to know that she had just a handful of days with him before he left on a personal mission to God only knew where.
She emptied her glass in one big gulp before pouring another, and then started talking sounding edgey and wound up. Frustrated.
"Mmm this has been a fucked up day. As soon as I went on duty, the Captain seemed anxious to have us all out on the field as quickly as possible. The map was glowing so I didn't bother to reship into something more durable. I stayed in my 'ceptor and immediately hit the closest contested system. Decontested that, then moved on to the next. As soon as I entered the facility a pirate warped in on me. I wasn't fit for solo combat, so I warped out, hoping he would grow bored and find someone else to harass."
She sighed to herself, finished off her drink and poured another. "I went back in. The bastard came in on me again. We did this little dance about five or six times. Meanwhile, I'm asking for some back up from PIE. Lt. Omnicide was about four or five jumps out but en route. He ran into a little combat problem along the way so I had to wait for him to reship."
"I really wanted to decontest this system and move on, plus I had no desire to leave because of some goddamned pirate...so I asked Garst if he was busy. I assumed he would be, or pretend to be if he wasn't. We haven't left things on the best of terms, you know?"
She shrugged to her reflection, "But he came. Just like that, he came."
The words he had spoken to her before he left PIE echoed through her mind, "You just dont get it do you? I don't think its any secret I feel that you're more than a friend to me... you've made me feel like no one else before and I've been trying to fight it but I just can't any longer."
"He was three jumps out when Omnicide told me that he'd asked a militia pilot to assist me, someone he'd met earlier. Against my own judgement, I didn't wait for Garst and warped back into the plex. Both the militia pilot and the pirate was sitting by the beacon. I relaxed slightly, neither was engaged, so I started towards the beacon."
"That was a big mistake. The pirate locked and scrammed me, and before I knew it I was a ship down....while that bastard militia pilot sat there and did nothing."
"Nothing. Not a goddamned weapon fired, not one attempt to do anything at all."
"That just reinforces my opinion that the militia as a whole is useless."
"Anyhow. Garst asked me why I didn't wait, I tried to explain that I thought I wouldn't need his help. He came anyhow, baited the pirate and ended up shooting him down for me."
"I admit that I took satisfaction in that, and I also took satisfaction in seeing the wreck of the militia pilot that did not help me after I warped back into the plex." She smiled with a guilty little grin of indulgence.
"So yeah, that was my last 'ceptor," she bemoaned. "That one was courtesy of Lord Berk."
She took the bottle over to the sofa and stretched out.
"After that little mishap, I met up with the fleet in Ezzara. It was a mess. As soon as we started in on the majors, the Minmatar came in on us en masse. We had to evacuate and reship. We rallied in Lantorn and joined up with Invelious and his pilots. Zenton was there...but we didn't speak."
"Anyhow, on the way back out we were to pick up some Ordo, though I believe they got snipped before making it to us."
"Once in Ezzara, we made a stand in a major complex while waiting for Garst and his pilots to join in the fight. The second wave took place at moon six with No Mercy reinforcements."
"The odds were stacked against us but our side managed to win the battle." She took a celebratory sip from the bottle, "Amarr victor."
Picking up the remote, she activated the holoplayer and turned it to the IGS channel. The holo'ed face of the infamous Jade Constantine blinked into view, sprouting off her 'free space' nonsense and attacking Garst. As usual.
"Don't you ever get tired of hearing youself old gal?"
Shalee propped her bare feet onto the coffee table and decided to play a drinking game with herself. Everytime Jade said Garst's name negatively she'd do a shot.
By the time Raphael returned home he'd find her passed out on the sofa...