Two Days Ago:
Dim, artificial lighting of the hangar silhouetted her lithe form as she stretched her arms out parallel to the floor. She wore her pod suit, a thin, nearly translucent covering that molded her body as a second skin.
Jonathan, her chief pod tech, gave the go-ahead for flight after running the obligatory pre-flight medical scans.
Several other pod techies started the process of wiring her up for the on coming night shift. As she synced into the endless flow of militia and intel channels, she checked to see what was reported and who was ready to roll out.
Eran, her usual FC since Predator Elite had abandoned militia to fight in the lawless lands of null sec hadn't made it to Houla yet.
Oh well, she'd make due until Eran's arrival.
As the pod was sealed, she felt her consciousness expanding, awareness amplifying as she floated in the shimmering fluid that entombed her body within the capsule.
A sense of anticipation coursed through her, an eagerness to fly. With Huola hot already, she knew it was going to be a long night of fighting.
Randomly she was invited to a fleet by a stranger, an Amarr militia pilot who was in local and already engaging the enemy.
She decided to give the unknown FC a chance and joined the fleet.
She initiated militia comms and Almity joined her.
"You get that fleet invite?" Shalee asked.
"...yeah. You joined?" Alm asked suspiciously.
"Yeah, why not. I'm ready to head out." She replied as she shipped into a hurricane.
They both frowned when they realized their FC wouldn't even be on comms with them.
"Oh. Well this is going to be interesting."
"And foolish. But what the hell."
As they were preparing to undock, Eran Mintor popped up in local.
"Oh thank God," they both replied in unison over comms.
Eran commandeered the fleet and within minutes they were out on the field.
The remainder of the night was spent fighting long range against the enemy fleet as they assaulted a POS in Houla.
Though they were unable to take down the enemy caps that were on field, they did manage to disrupt the operation and kill a few support ships in the process.
Later, after she'd docked up for the night and dismissed her crew, she stood beneath the showers longer than usual.
Her thoughts raced as she let the hot water spray across her back. Her reverie was broken by a too familiar voice.
"You need to be careful."
She turned suddenly and yanked the towel hanging across the back of the shower stall, wrapping it around her quickly as she said, "What are you doing in here? This is a private area. And I'm naked." Her face flashed with annoyance.
Kathetel smirked, "Calm down." He turned his back to her, giving her privacy. "I came here to warn you about your little friendship with Tiger. It's catching the attention of too many people."
"So what? I'm not allowed to speak to whomever I want now? Is that what you're going to tell me?" she asked as she made her way to the lockers, yanking hers open to grab a clean uniform.
He followed in pursuit. "How are you still so naive? Why are you so gullible?"
"Fuck off. I'm not in the mood." She slammed the locker closed and waited for him to turn his back to her before she started to dress. "Anyhow, we are just friends. I think he is interesting. He has interesting stories. He amuses me. That's it."
"He is a cold blooded killer. He has fought against the Empire for years, plotted against it. He was one of Revan's top associates, but you know that already. So how many people have to warn you before you decide to listen to reason? He is a dangerous man, Shalee."
"I know. But what is the harm of talking on comms with him?" she asked as he turned to face her.
"I wouldn't be here if it were just that. But you're accepting gifts from him. Very expensive gifts. Men don't buy Navy Geddons and Abaddons for girls they want to be 'just friends' with." He curled his fingers, making air quotes. "Plus the flowers? He wants something from you and he's seducing you to get it buy buying you things. He's even told you himself he is dangerous."
"Are you monitoring my mail?" She asked as she trailed her fingers through her damp raven hair.
She sighed her frustration. "Is it not enough that I devote my entire career to the Empire? Am I allowed no privacy in my personal time?"
"Your personal time still belongs to the Empire. Leave him alone Shalee, I'm warning you. I have a really bad feeling that he could be your downfall."
She lifted her chin, her blue eyes blazing, "Don't threaten me, Kathetel. I know my duties."
"Then act like it. Think of others for once. Think about the harm he could bring not only to yourself but the entire Knighthood, hell, even the entire militia if he had the inkling to do so. Don't get involved with him."
"I'm not!" She stomped her foot impatiently.
"Good." He smirked to her as he turned to leave. "Oh and Shalee? Enough with the Minmatar ships already, it's rather vulgar."