I had made my way to the hangar in Rens before most people were awake, though I did encounter the occasional passerby during my walk through the station. Near my Sleipnir command ship lay my dormant pod, all wired and ready for insertion. I wouldn’t be needing to launch as I was really just going to spend a few minutes synced with Aura to update some skills, then would be off to the gym for my morning routine.
“How are you doing, Colonel?” she asked.
“I’m not a Colonel anymore.” I sighed, feeling a certain melancholy as the self-realization sank in. “Just another guy trying to make the universe a better place. And I’m fine, thanks. How’s thing with you this fine day?”
“Things are good.” she replied, quite chipper. “Killing some unsuspecting miners over breakfast.”
The flippancy of her statement sent shivers down my spine. I still hadn’t adjusted to life out of the military, to fighting the clear-cut fight of good vs. evil. I was happy to be part of Stay Frosty as I knew that Rixx had a strict code of honour and a high degree of morality, and yet … I still hadn’t engaged in so much as a roam with my new corpmates, the many shades of grey were something that didn’t sit well with me.
I rationalized to myself that there were responsibilities I had to finish up with in Rens, make a clean break from my old life. Or the original excuse that I couldn’t secure transport for everything I’d need in Hevrice, quite the journey from where I had been stationed in Dal.
They were all excuses.
Regardless of my own personal drama, it didn’t justify the murder of innocents, capsuleer or otherwise. A part of me knew no capsuleer was innocent, and that there was certainly more to the story, and even if there wasn’t, who was I to judge anyway? I was a disgraced former military man with a failed attempt at a career in politics.
“Not sure the idea of killing innocents sits well with me, sweetheart.” I replied after an almost awkward pause. Aura uploaded my acquired skillbooks into my neural net for my brain to digest later.
“Well, they were in our territory, and I wouldn’t exactly call them innocent.” she replied.
“I think it’s the word ‘innocent’ that threw me. It’s simply not something I can condone for myself. But yes, you’re probably correct. I doubt they were innocent either. I won’t get hung up on the word.”
“Aw, I’m sorry Colonel.” she replied with not a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
“No need for sorry, darlin. Just adjusting to this next chapter of my immortality.” I replied, a twang of sadness to my voice.
I didn’t regret my decision to go to the Federation. I simply hadn’t gotten off the fence and fully committed.
That had to change.
“Well, I’m all done here. Off to the gym. I’d invite you but I’m over in Rens taking care of some things before heading back to Hevrice. Maybe you’ll let me take you out somewhere nice when I get back?” I asked.
“Count on it, Colonel. Enjoy your day.” she replied, her voice happy.
“Fly strong. Stay Frosty.”