Go to: Part One
I'm alive. Water still drips down my back from the shower I took. I left my ship. I left my pod. I stepped into my quarters and made my way to the shower. I needed to be away from it all. The memories. The chills still course through me. I can't get warm. Everything tastes of ash and pain.
I crouched in E02-IK for a while. Days? Hours? My fleet mates were warm presences around me. We were alive. We were together. It was enough. That moment of shared life after the after image of destroyed ships vanishes from your eyes. We waited. We waited. We waited until supplies ran low. Our distress calls were heard. Our corporation asked us, "What happened? Where are you?"
"Here. Here" We said. "Here and here again."
"We will find out."
The forward scout arrives. "I will guide you," he says. "For I am swift and fly through the night without disturbing the very air."
"We will follow," we said. "There is no future for us here. Only a bitter past and our home beckons so nearby."
"Let us go. But, let me lead."
And he went.
We undocked. Our Sentinel pilot, bold and brave checked another path. "Don't come!" he said. The Dominix fleet was still there. Still. Really? How interesting is that gate. My god. Anyway, "Away! I will return."
And the other path opened to us, jsut two jumps from the edge of empire's farthest reaches. It was clear. So we jumped. "A small camp," the scout whispered. "But a Slasher, Saber, and Claw. Let me see what lays beyond."
I admit that I felt weak then. Terribly worn. In the strong encasement of the Large Jaguar I felt fragile. Anything could kill me. Life was not for me this day. I could only kiss memories of time past. "We're fine," whispered the Ishtar. "See, the Sentinel comes."
"The way is almost clear," murmured our scout from afar. "The gate is blocked. Let me find a path through."
We waited, in space, the darkness was there. Local rose and fell. Others were out. They saw us but passed us by. Prey they did not want. My autocannons whirled. I would go down fighting. I would go down whole.
"To me. Come. Be strong."
And we went. The Saber was not there and the Claw and Slasher ran. We barreled through the last stretches of null sec and burst into Empire. How sweet. The rich red nebula sucked into our engines. How warm was the Sun against our hulls. We raced through the red darkness, more confident of our step. A system passed, another cleared, and we spun and laughed. Freedom was for us, until we found the Thorax ont he gate.
"I'm going in," said the Ishtar. "I'm tired of this." His confidence was bold. Invigorating even.
"I'm here to assist. Damn the warp changes," said a corp-mate. His Hurricane (I didn't know they still made them) churning through the depths. "I'm on gate and hes scrammed."
Vicious fury. The Throax died. The other ran.
The rich loom of Bosena has never felt so sweet across my solar panels.
And Null Sec? Fuck that noise.