Mercy's Keep Security Files
He had asked her for a private word, and the pair had stepped outside the Keep. Around them tiny snow flakes fell upon the slight breeze, twirling around them. It was dark out save for the firelight flickering in the the braziers that lined the path. She pulled on her gloves as she turned her gaze to him, "Is everything alright, Pred?"
Predator Elite paused and rubbed his hands together as if to ward off the cold, "Nothing ever is," he said as he looked to her.
"What's the matter? Tell me?" she asked.
"I...just wanted to let you know that I have dropped roles, and will be gone from militia in less than twenty four hours," he said quietly.
She quickly looked away, starring ahead at the landing pad in the distance. She had heard the rumors but hadn't believed them because she hadn't heard it from him. Apparently the time had come. A chill of unease settled upon her and for the moment she thought she'd be sick. "I see....who are you taking with you?"
"No one...why? Do you want to come?" he said hopefully, searching her face.
"You know I cannot leave..." she said heavily.
"Then why did you ask?" He frowned ever so slightly.
"I was just wondering if you were taking anyone with you."
"No... I feel that I have to move on," he confessed.
She nodded, "We do what me must do. If you have to go...then go."
"Alright. So... no hard feelings?" he asked hopefully.
Shalee shrugged, saying nothing.
"If something is wrong, tell me."
"Why?" She started to walk away, kicking her way through the snow.
"Because I care," he admitted.
"About what? What do you care about, really?" she asked, feeling as if her heart was shattering into a thousand tiny pieces.
"I care about living my life."
"Fine. Go live your life," she said in a chilly tone.
"What do you think I'm trying to do? Hell I can't even stay in one spot more than six months," he said with a hint of frustration.
"You've been in militia for longer than that..." she said as she turned around, standing a few feet away from him.
"Because I liked the people here and what we did ... but no more." he conceded.
She tensed ever so slightly. "Yeah. Okay."
"What do you want me to say?" he asked.
"Nothing at all. You've already said everything you needed to, right," she retorted.
"I'm not trying to say anything I'm just trying to make sure everyone is okay with me leaving."
"You know I am not but what can I do? What can I say? You're going to leave anyhow." she declared.
"Why aren't you alright with me leaving?" he asked, searching her eyes, as if waiting for her to say something important, something meaningful.
"Because I don't want you to go. We need you. I need you," she insisted.
He closed the space between them, "You don't need me. You are fine and strong without me," he said tentatively.
"But I'm not," she argued.
"I dont define you, I dont make you stronger or weaker," he tried to reason with her.
"But you do. You know you do," she continued to argue.
He put his hands on her arms, staring intently at her. "You have to look at what you have been through, those choices make you stronger or weaker. If you feel that I make you stronger you are just making your self weaker."
"But you make the militia stronger."
He chuckled, "Did you not see what happened tonight?"
"I see that you tried desperately to save Arzad."
He stared at her.
"I see that you risked, and lost one of your most expensive ships for the cause. I see that pilots followed you into a losing battle because they believe in you," she argued passionately as if willing him to understand.
"You are sweet to say that but I know myself that it was wrong and I'm paying for it now, might be better just to ride this one out."
She sighed. "And so just like that you leave. I hope it makes you happy."
"I have made too many mistakes and certain people aren't letting that go. By me staying here and in this militia, it wont help. It will only make matters worse, Shalee." He smiled softly, "I'm just trying to make things right."
"Do you honestly believe that? Because I don't. And I know there are many, many who do not believe that either."
"Do you think you'll be happier?"
"I don't think I could be happier then when I'm talking to you," he whispered.
She leaned her head against his chest, "I'll miss you."
He pulled his arms around her, "I'll be missing you too." He held for a long while before letting her go, saying nothing as he walked off towards the landing pad.
"You could have stopped him."
Shalee turned around quickly at the sound of the soft spoken voice. A child's voice?
"You could have made him stay, you should have! He wanted you to say you loved him. He wanted you to make him stay, to give him a reason to stay."
"Who's there?" she called out in the darkness as her head throbbed. She rubbed her temples, feeling emotionally drained and physically sick.
"You know who I am," the child said as she appeared before Shalee out of no where, wearing a long red velvet gown, her hair a mass of curls. "You know everything you just don't want to think about it. And you know that you should stop him! Don't let him leave!"
"I can't stop him...he's going to do what he wants to."
"He wants you."
"He loves you, you know he does. But he doesn't love the Empire like you do, he doesn't fight for it like you do...but he could. If you asked him to. You could make him believe in it like you did Eran! All you have to do is try!"
"I can't do that! I can't make someone believe in something they don't!"
"But you made Eran!"
"Stop..." She blinked several times as everything went blurry. The snowflakes bled into long strings of white light. Her nose started to drip blood. She wiped her gloved hand across her face as she stumbled, falling to the ground.
The child's voice faded as everything went dark.
Mercy's Keep Security Files
Location: Medical Bay
"Yes?" she blinked several times as her vision adjusted to the harsh white artifical light inside the med bay. "Jonathan?"
He nodded, "How are you feeling?"
"I'm okay...I think. I just..." Her brows scrunched up as she looked at him, remembering. "I fell?"
He nodded again. "I was called in a few hours ago. You've been asleep. I think you'll be fine, we just need to do a few adjustments with your implants."
"I saw her. Again."
"The little girl? The one from Eytjangard?" he asked.
She nodded, "Am I losing my mind?"
He sat down on the edge of the bed, "No. It's just the way you deal with problems. The mind is a remarkable thing you know. People often work out problems in their dreams, it's a natural thing to do."
"But most people don't turn themselves into child like holograms while they sleep and visit other people."
"True enough. I've never heard of such a thing happening, but it is fascinating all the same. To stop yourself from having nightmares, your mind has worked out a way to let you 'stay awake' in a sense. It keeps busy, engaged, so that deep dreaming never occurs."
"Why don't I ever remember doing these things?" she asked in a tired voice.
"You're not ready to remember. 'Red' typically ends up seeking out people that you're upset with. She tries to fix your problems, so to speak. She is ahead of the game in that way. You on the other hand, are not ready to make ammends or accept certain truths."
"Do you see her often?" Shalee asked, feeling strange to be talking about herself as if she were another person.
He nodded, "Quite."
"Is there any way I can control it?" she questioned.
"I haven't the foggiest idea, to be honest. Since I've been tracking her I-"
She interrupted him mid sentence, "How do you track her?"
"I follow your digital footprint so to speak. Sometimes she ends up in virtual world, but most often she uses the holodrones. I've kept a log of which she accesses."
"Like I said, it's quite fascinating. The people she interacts with, they all seem to know it's you- or some younger part of you, but seem reluctant to talk about it with you. Until Eran told you, I think it was probably one of the most well kept secrets in the Empire."
"I wonder why people wanted to keep it from me..."
"I would gather it's because ..." he paused thoughtfully, "because they wouldn't want you to 'fix' it. Talking with 'Red' is an easier way to connect with you, to find out what is going on, what upsets you....to find out your secrets. She has quite a little mouth on her, you know."
"Is there anything I can do to stop it from happening?"
"Nothing that I know of. The implants allow you the technology to access virtual world and holodrones...so unless you're willing to give up your life as a capsuleer...you'll have to live with this 'side affect'."