The days following Jacke's death settled into a routine of endless patrols along the Empire's borders, joining militia fleets, and spending time with Tiger in her free moments- which had become something of a rarity.
Though she barely knew the boy, some part of her was in constant mourning for him. Often she'd find her thoughts drifting to the dark haired Minmatar child while she was drifting among the stars, patrolling from system to system.
In an almost restless drive to find out more about him, she spent her downtime in between fleets searching through various databases for more information. With a little digging, she found out she'd been the one to bring him to the Keep, that he'd been orphaned, and that his goal was to become a capsuleer.
She found the logs of his studies and admired the countless hours he'd spent in the flight sims at the Keep.
At first she thought he might have been the illegitimate child of Omnicide Incarnate, a comrade in the Amarr militia, but later read that Jacke admired the infamous often-solo pilot, that he wanted to be just like him and took his last name as his own.
Over and over she rolled it around in her mind, the idea that he was 'playing on the rooftop and fell'. It made little sense. The child had a remarkable mind and determination of an adult, and yet he didn't have the sense not to play out on the icy rooftop?
Sighing, she docked up in the 24th station in Huola, trying to force her thoughts away from the dead boy.
After showering and changing into her militia uniform, she took the lift to deck 407 and made her way to Huola Haze, a capsuleer cigar bar and social lounging area.
She settled into chair by the floor-to-ceiling window, her gaze captured ever so often by flashing lights beyond the glass. Destruction in all of it's macabre glory, beautiful colored explosions and lazor lights streaming across the dark vast void. She watched impassively, already wearing the dull, nonchalant expression of a capsuleer who could view such a thing and see only the mistakes of those who lost the skirmish, never once giving a thought to the cold brutality of those who did not survive. Crew members were another piece of equipment, another necessity to fufill the capsuleer's agenda, whatever that may be.
Crew members were expendable, easily replacable. Forgotten.
Another explosion lit the bar, this one much closer to where she sat. A thud followed the flashing light and as she looked to the window, she saw the bloody remains of some poor unfortunate crew chief as his corpse had landed against the glass, half of his face missing.
His eye hung from his skull, sticking to the window above his head as his body started to slide down the blood-slicked surface.
Wincing, she quickly looked away as a station scrubber drone vaccumed up the remains and cleaned the window.
"Well thats not something you see everyday."
She glanced up and nodded, "Yeah. Kind of creepy, huh." He wore a long black Amarrian robe trimmed in gold along the sleeves. As he pulled back the hood, she noted his dark hair and pale blue eyes. Shalee thought him ruggedly attractive.
He grinned as he took a seat in front of her.
Shalee watched as he lit his cigar then blew a ring of smoke upwards, "Miss Lianne, you've been something of a hassle to keep up with lately," he said.
Her thin brow quirked, "Pardon?" He knew her? Huh.
He narrowed his gaze at her, his expression equally inquisitive. "I'll be damned. I thought this was some kind of game you've been playing." He puffed on his cigar as the corners of his mouth twisted upwards into a slight smirk. "I guess this is the part where you tell me you have no idea who I am."
She stared blandly at him, "Should I know you?" she asked, feeling a bit uneasy.
He exhaled a mouthful of smoke then laughed. "You're good." He leaned forward, studying her face. "Really good, but that's why we hired you in the first place."
She stiffened, looking blankly at him still. "Hired me?"
He laughed again, "One assignment to Jove space and I come back to this? I haven't been gone that long." he sighed as he settled back into his oversized, leather chair. "Okay okay. Let's say I'm buying it. Let's say it's true, that you really have lost your memories. What is the last thing you remember before becoming a capsuleer?"
She jutted her chin up and gave him an icy roll of her eyes, "I don't believe I have to tell you anything."
"Ah, lost the memories but not that firey attitude that always has a way of getting you into trouble, I see."
"Who are you?" she asked finally, her curosity overcoming her anger for the moment.
Kathetel smiled, "A friend."
"Don't suppose you have a name?" she inquired.
He hesitated for a moment before responding, his amusement having melted away as he realized she was sincere. "How about this. I'll give you my name after you tell me what you last remember."
She blew out a frustrated breath. "Okay fine. I'll play your game. I last remember living on Adia, at my Father's house. There were rumors of the Empress's new proclimation of freeing slaves to the eighth generation I think?"
He nodded, "Go on."
"There was to be a ball that week, nothing out of the ordinary really. It's all kind of hazy." She scrunched up her brows, "I think I had to go to the doctor, I wasn't feeling well."
He nodded again, "Ah. So you lost over two years of memories?"
She shook her head, "So they say."
"And you remember nothing of those lost years?"
"...no. I try, I really do. They say I'll regain my memories in a matter of weeks, but so far...nothing."
"No. My chief pod tech, Arrok."
He frowned, "Your chief pod tech is Jonathan and has been since you've been a capsuleer."
A memory tugged at the edges of her mind. "Wait. I think I do remember him." She became excited, "I do! Is that his name? Jonathan? He was there the first time I ever woke up...but I've not seen him since."
"I'll ask Keon. He was there, he must know what happened to him," she said excitedly, happy to have some kind of memory. It had been too frustrating living in a world where she remembered nothing. Finally. Perhaps she was starting to remember.
Kathetel's face twisted into hot anger, "Sonnovabitch! Keon?"
She nodded very slowly, "...yeah."
He calmed instantly, regaining his composure. Grimly, he asked, "Do you see Keon very much now?"
"My brothers have rented a villa near the Keep, I try to see them as often as I can, but often I'm too tired to travel back to Amarr after patrols."
"Jacobi is there too?" He asked incrediously.
She nodded, "Yeah....do you know them?" she asked.
"Something like that. And your corpmates, have they met your brothers?"
"Keon and Jacobi have dropped by once or twice, but mostly I visit them." she said warily, wondering why he was so interested in her life.
He shook his head as he exhaled a series of smoke rings, "Have you not questioned why you are here?" He swayed his hand, "This is a far cry from Adia. Have you not wondered why you are fighting a thankless job in the militia? Why you are even a capsuleer?"
"Every single day," she admitted. "I told you what I remember, now tell me your name."
"Why do you think you are here?" he asked, ignoring her question.
"I..." she hesitated, obviously afraid to tell him the truth, that her Father had orchestrated the whole thing, that she was sent there to make connections for the family. Unfortunately he had died in a shuttle accident, but her brothers wanted to continue his work. Later on, Jacobi and Keon told her the real reason she had been sent into the world of the capsuleers. Revenge. She was to be the instrument that was used in destroying Aldrith Shutaq, a man who had seduced and ultimately caused the death of her Mother.
Her Mother. Jea Cerra. She died, pregnant with Aldrith's child.
Keon had mentioned to her several nights prior that he was putting together a plan to bring Aldrith to his knees. He was going to have the foolish Mitara, Aldrith's wife, podded. It wouldn't have been a big deal in the grand scheme of things, capsuleers were podded all the time. But rarely did capsuleers fly while pregnant.
An eye for an eye.
A child for a child, he reasoned. And Shalee would be the one to do it. She'd be the one to get close enough when Mitara's guard was down.
"What have they told you?" Kathetel asked again.
"It doesn't matter. I'm here, I do my job, I defend Amarrian sovereignty."
"Your job?" he laughed. "Your real job is far different than your fleets within the militia. You're not just a militia pilot. You're an Imperial Agent and have been for over two years." He handed her a card, "This is my comm number. Unravel the truth, Shalee. Consider it an assignment. Figure out who you are and why you are really here. Then, and only then, will things make sense." He snubbed what was left out of his cigar in the ashtray before standing.
"We will be watching," he said as he grinned, "Just like the good old days eh. A pity you've forgotten them."