She had a hangover.
It had been a long night of patrols, complete with an occassional skirmish with the Minmatar and an ambush or two involving some pirates.
Afterwards, she had met Aldrith at My Blue Heaven to talk things out and then they discussed a little plan she'd been musing on the past few days.
For weeks now their patrol wing had been harassed by local pirates and she'd simply had enough. She wanted to take the fight to them, to hunt them instead of being hunted.
After Aldrith had lost a few hundred million that night, it was the perfect time to get him onboard with her idea. They had a few drinks, discussed a few names, and a new kind of relationship was born. Not quite a friendship, but some kind of new bond forged out of a mutual lust for revenge.
They did a few shots to seal the deal, followed by another few shots as they made their plans and by the end of the night she could barely put one foot in front of another.
Somehow she had made it to Zenton's place and passed out. She'd been staying there for the last few days while he was down in zero zero space just so she wouldn't have to go home to an empty apartment, well, at least it wasn't *her* empty apartment. It was different at Zentons. His apartment on the Roushzar space station was in back of his office at the DIA head quarters. There were always people about, so even if Zenton wasn't there, she never really felt alone.
The next morning she ran across Invelious while in search of coffee. He never really questioned her presence at the DIA HQs and was always up for a friendly chat. As she nursed her coffee, he informed her that DIA was leaving the war. There had been rumors, of course, but he confirmed it.
"Well lieutenant, DIA requires a temporary reprieve from active combat in the militia, this of course does not mean we have broken our loyalty from the Empire. The Theology Council has requested we take a more logistic approach and build on their pod pilot based order. So this is what we will do."
She couldn't help but be disappointed.
Back in Zenton's office, she settled down into his chair to finish off her coffee and to start on a journal recording.
The camera drone panned across the room and zoomed in on her face. She wore a look of misery. Dark shadows beneath her eyes betrayed her restless night of sleep.
"So this past week has been a troublesome one. I got caught on a gatecamp last night jumping into Kour. Lost Incognito had just given the intel over voice comms that it was hot as I was jumping through. I was just in a coercer and figured my chances getting away were pretty okay, but I was wrong. At least I didn't get podded."
She shrugged, "I'm not stressing it."
"But this past week? Yeah, I'm stressing that. It's just been one big misunderstanding after another. Got in trouble with the Brass. Not just a minor slap on the hand, but something big. Something where the goddamned CEO is asking if I need to confess my sins."
"I really thought I was out of PIE by that point, or at least demoted all the way down to Ensign...not that it's that much of a fall. But still." She settled back in the chair and propped her feet up on his desk.
"I had debated on just beating them to the punch and leaving on my own before they got the chance, but one of the Directors got word of it and pretty much talked me out of it."
"Anyhow, that's over and done with. From what I understand I wont be demoted, though I wont be getting a promotion any time soon either."
She sighed to herself, "Which means that smug bastard Hiigaren can lord his rank over my head that much longer."
Not that she disliked Hiigaren, quite the opposite. She really enjoyed working with him on the recruitment council. But he did have a tendency in pulling rank, like during the Lallara incident, even when she was in the right.
"Still no word from Raphael."
"And we've new orders in regards to No Mercy. I have mixed feelings about it, but mostly I think it is a shame that Jade Constantine has 'won'. I mean, all the time the brass spent investigating it could have been spent out on the battlefield instead of fielding paperwork thats really none of our business anyhow. So what if they are pirates? Doesn't stop us from flying with the Helljumpers or countless other unsavories who have made it into the militia. Where are our orders in regards to them?"
"Obviously PIE played right into Jade's hands on this. She pushed and prodded til she got what she wanted. It is ridiculous really. And her obsession with Garst is borderline obscene."
She shrugged to herself. It wasn't like she could do anything about it and she was still pissed off enough at Garst that it didn't really bother her all that much.
Falling silent, she glanced around Zenton's office, musing over the difference between PIE and DIA. In a shorter time than she had been in PIE, Zenton had become a director of DIA. Hell even Garst had achieved much more outside of PIE than in. Her thoughts drifted to Vaarun, wondering what he would end up doing now that he was on the outside too.
After finishing her coffee, she deactivated the recording drone and went off into his apartment to get ready for another grueling round of patrols.
She probably should feel guilty for taking over his apartment like this, she thought as she glanced about his bedroom. Her clothes were strewn all over the place and his dresser was now covered with decorative little bottles of her perfume and other trivial little things that women used on a daily basis; lotions, makeup, and a few other odds and ends.
Her uniforms were piled up over the back of a chair, boots stacked by the bed.
Her brows furrowed as she took it all in. He never said a word, never complained. He even gave up his bed for her, offering to sleep on the sofa just so she could be more comfortable.
Her gaze drifted over to a picture he kept by his bed. Of them, when they were still together as a couple.
She stared at it for a long moment as memories flashed through her mind, of times when they were just happy being together.
And then she glanced down to the ring she wore and thought of Raphael. A part of her couldn't help but feel disloyal to him by simply being there, but another part of her didn't care. Zenton was still her friend, and she was allowed to have friends....right?