Two nights ago...
"Darling, where are you?"
Shalee grinned as she heard the familiar voice of Omnicide Incarnate over her comm. Omni and she had been friends for a year or more, having met when she was a pilot in PIE inc. Though she had left the corporation she had kept in regular contact with many of the capsuleers who still flew under their banner, and since they were in the Amarrian militia together, she more often than not still flew with a majority of them.
"Uh.." She checked the system name with a yawn, "Hadozeko." Her plexing patrol with 1PG and PIE had taken her deep out into Minmatar space, "Why, what's up? Where are you?"
"Huola. I'll head your way....I have something for you."
"Oh?" she asked curiously. "Can't just contract it?"
"Nah. I'll bring it to you."
Intrigued, she set course for Huola, "Alright, I'll start heading towards you, meet you in the middle?"
Four jumps or so she met Omni on a star gate as he jettisoned a can, "A gift, m'lady," he said charmingly.
"Mmmm thank you?" she said as she scooped the cargo container into her slicer. She scanned down the contents and started to giggle. "A corpse! You brought me a corpse!"
"Check the ID."
She gasped. "Missy Lorelai!"
She could hear the smile in his voice, "Your mortal enemy right?"
"Ah you know the way to my heart, Omni."
Hours later, as Shalee lay sleeping on Amarr Prime, curled up beside her Minmatar lover, a holodrone activated in the Huola station.
Inside the Headquarters of the Knighthood, the holographic little girl skipped her way into the personal hangars, humming an eerie little tune to herself. Inquisitive blue eyes slanted from left to right as she searched for Moonlight, the Imperial Slicer Shalee had been flying on her patrols earlier.
After checking the cargo hold, she headed towards the coolers.
She shivered though she couldn't actually feel the chill in the air, then giggled. She liked to pretend.
Humming a new tune, she started to sing the rhyme, "One two Sansha's coming for you."
"Who is there?"
She gasped as she spun around, coming face to face with a boy in tattered clothes. Dirt smudged his face and he looked as if he hadn't bathed in weeks. She wrinkled up her nose as she looked him over, "Who are you to ask me who I am. Who are you? I don't think you're supposed to be in here," she said with an air of superiority.
"Neither should you, I bet. What are you anyhow, a ghost?"
She stomped her foot, "If I were a ghost I'd be running around trying to haunt you now wouldn't I! No, I'm no ghost you silly fool. Anyhow, what are you doing in here!"
"What are you doing in here?" he returned the question. "I was just looking ..." he said sheepishly as he dropped his head.
"At dead bodies?"
"...looking for my Dad."
"Oh...you think he is here?"
He shrugged, "I dunno. I've been looking for a while. Haven't found him yet...he was a salvager. Got shot down in this system, over in the astroids."
"Well if he was a capsuleer it doesn't matter if his body is here or not..."
"He wasn't a capsuleer."
She frowned. Sometimes dying really did mean being dead forever. "Oh. I see." She flicked her gaze to the line of coolers, staring at the corpses displayed like trophies along the wall.
"Anyhow, what are you doing here?" he asked.
She gave a little shrug, "I wanted to see Missy Lorelai."
"Who is that?"
"Only one of the most horrible terrorists in the Bleaks. Missy and Maarg Blood. We hate them." She started to walk down the corridor, her fingers nearly grazing across the frosted glass of the display cases. "Omnicide podded her tonight and now we have her body here." she said a bit smuggly.
"Who is Omnicide?" the boy asked as he followed her.
"Only one of the best pilots in the militia. And her friend. He is a capsuleer too."
"Shalee. This is her hangar."
"Oh. She is a capsuleer?"
"Yes. And she flies with all the best people," the little girl said with a tone of importance, going off to name several of her favorite pilots and FCs. "Anyhow. What is your name?"
"Raphael calls me Red," she said in return.
"Nice to meet you Red."
"Where do you live?" she asked.
"...I stay here."
"Here? In this cooler?"
"No, but on the space station. Anywhere I can, really."
She frowned again, "Oh." So that was why he was so dirty. "Are you an orphan?"
She suddenly stopped walking and pointed to one of the corpses, "That is Laerise." She slanted her gaze to him, "She is mean, we don't like her. She pretends to be nice in front of her Admirals but when she is around other people she is a monster! They called her the dragon!"
Jacke chuckled. "She don't look so scary to me."
"Well, it's because you can't see her horns!" She held her index fingers to the top of her head and wiggled them about, pretending her horns were coming out. Red giggled, "Open the cooler and look!"
He hesitated, "I don't think we can. There is a security code."
"But I know the code!" She rattled off a series of numbers.
His brows lifted, "Uh..." He looked to the cooler again.
"Oh come on Jacke," she pouted. "Don't want to see a real life monster? Anyhow this one can't hurt you it's dead!" She stepped closer to the cooler and tipped her chin up to have a better look. "Please?"
"Well...I guess." He stepped over to her and entered the security code to open the door. As it slid open they were greeted with a rush of frigid cold air. They stepped inside.
"Get her down!"
"No! I'm not touching that! It's dead!"
"Stop being such a baby. You're older than me. And stronger too."
"Well you're not even real! Of course I'm stronger!" he retorted.
"Am too real!"
"Well, I mean you're not really here. Where are you anyhow?"
"Amarr Prime." She stepped closer to the corpse, "If you get her down we can have a party!"
"What? Are you crazy?"
"No. I just wanna play." She placed her hands on her hips. "And you have to play with me," she said in a bossy tone. "You can be my slave!"
"I'm not being no slave."
"But you're a Brutor right? So you have to be the slave. Anyhow, I will be your mistress and take care of you! But you have to do what I say." She looked at him imperiously. "So get her down so we can have the party!"
Jacke stared at her for a moment then gave a little sigh of resignation, the same little sound that so many adults had sighed as they have given into her outlandish requests. He pulled the corpse from the frosty tomb and brought it out into the corridor, dropping her to the floor with a thud.
Breathing heavily, he gave her a look that said, -now what-?
She grinned adorably and skipped off, moving over to another cooler. "Get him out! He is evil too. A very very bad man. He will be her date at the party!" She pointed to Garst Tyrell's corpse, then ran off to find two more bodies.
"Want me to get out Missy?" he asked as he followed dutifully behind her.
She shook her head thoughtfully, "No. Missy can't come to the party til we have her date, Maarg Blood."
"What about this one?" he randomly pointed to a corpse.
"No, that is Gangreli. He is very nice. We don't want good people to come!" She hesitated, thinking. "Or maybe we do. Let's get Aldrith! And Mitara!" She ran down the aisle, leading him to their containers.
Jacke pulled the pair of them out, sweating from the effort.
"Okay. Now we need stuff for the party." She named off several items that could be found in the offices nearby.
An hour later the party was set up, each corpse propped into a chair wearing strange bits of clothing they had found in some cargo containers in the main hangar, personal items looted from various wrecks.
Laerise wore a Gallentian pink feather dress. Garst wore the same thing. Mitara and Aldrith were dressed in matching tuxes, and all four wore party hats that they had made from scraps of paper.
An old Amarrian waltz played softly and she made Jacke dance with her, "Just watch me," she said, teaching him the steps.
The ten year old nodded and followed her movements, pretending to hold her ghostly hands.
She tipped her chin up and looked him in the eye, "Jacke?"
"I want you to come live with us at Amarr Prime. We live in a big big house in the mountains and it is always snowing. And there's lots of people who live there and other people who come to visit!"
"But how will I get there?"
"In a spaceship of course."
"But I don't have any isk..." he said as his expression went somber. "I don't have anything at all."
"But you have me. All you have to do is come to Amarr. Anyhow I know people who fly the spaceships..." she said, her little face twisting up thoughtfully as she tried to figure out who she was going to ask to bring him there. Before she could say anything else, her hologram flickered.
Jacke looked at her, worried, "What's happening to you?"
"She is waking up. But don't worry, I'll come back for you."
She flickered again then disappeared completely.
Pain throbbed in the back of Shalee's head as she sat up in bed, rousing slowly from a dream that made no sense to her. Like all dreams, the macabre images of Garst and Laerise's corpses were already fading.
She rubbed her fingers through her hair, massaging her temples, wishing the headache away.
As she lay back in bed, she rolled over onto her side and looked at Eran as he slept, her thoughts drifting. Remembering. Tidbits of the dream flashed through her mind and she couldn't shake off the eerie sense of how real it felt.
Ever since Hadrien had died, she'd been having vivid nightmares and strange dreams, though mostly she never remembered them, not for very long anyhow. It was as if some part of her subconscious forced it away. She chalked it up to some sort of coping mechanism to help her with what she had done.
Not wanting to think about Hadrien, she snuggled closer to Eran and lay her head against his shoulder. Moments later she was drifting off asleep.
As soon as she cross the threshold into the land of dreams, a holodrone activated in their room, and a little girl tiptoed over to the bed, whispering, "Eran...wake up. I need you to go fly your spaceship..."