Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Longing

Abby looked out the station window as she sat at her desk. It didn't matter that there was nothing but cold, unforgiving darkness out there. It called to her. However, because she had become a capsuleer at a young age, without the necessary need for parental consent, her contract with the cloning facilities mandated that she take classes for a few months at a time before she would be allowed to fly again.

“Miss Baxter, would you care to explain what it is you find so fascinating out that window,” the middle-aged teacher at the front of the room asked.

“N-nothing, actually, ma'am,”Abby stammered, “it's just...calling out to me.”

The room filled with murmurs and snickering.

“What?! It's true! Geez, you all have no imagination, huh?”

“Imagination is not what we're here for,” came a voice from the back of the room.

“Yeah, well it's not like I chose to be here, either way,” Abby replied.

“Enough! Miss Baxter, you are the only capsuleer in this class, and while we welcome you, please restrain yourself from being a nuisance.”

“Yes ma'am.”

“Now, we will continue on page 36 of the text, 'Caldari Foreign policy during peacetime'.”

“You should really stop daydreaming in class, Abs,” chided her good friend Vel. Vel was a mortal. A station dweller on his way toward a promising career under the Caldari Ambassador for the Minmatar. 'Though brutish and violent, they have a way of making the other races-even us Caldari-look like primitives,' Vel had told her, once. He was stout, atypical of a man of his character. Although he was shorter and a little pudgier than most Ashura his age, he made up for it in strength, wisdom and kind attitude.

“Well, it's not my fault they put me in the only class that goes to rooms all on the OUTSIDE of the station. It's just cruel. And I thought I told you to stop calling me 'Abs'!”

“Psh, I will never stop calling you that, you know it. And I seriously doubt they put us in those rooms purposely because you're in the class. It's gotta just be coincidence.”

Vel gestured at the window in front of them. “At least none of the windows let you see this. It would drive you insane.”

Abby scoffed. Their view through the window was of the undock area of the station. All the ships coming and going, idling or zooming around. It put her back in her drake, taking orders from her various agents, going and destroying enemy ships. She did not like to think of the people inside. Most of those ships were not capsuleer ships, and had a full crew, which ranged in number from 100-1000+ depending on the ship size. Abby had chosen not to run with a crew, as she tended to be somewhat reckless in the field and would feel guilty about any unnecessary deaths. It also doesn't help that she's only nineteen and most crew personnel would never work under such a young captain, not if they didn't have to.

“So when do you go back out,” Vel asked.

“Another couple of months, during our 'winter' break. We get a month or so off, right? So I'm going to take that time to make some contacts. Try to get some information about my parents. There's this new news group, Tech 4 News, they did a piece on wormholes and those 'Sleepers', and I figured if they're really into wormholes, they must have information on the Sansh-”

“SHHH Shhh Shh shh!! People are already jumpy, they don't need to see-slash-hear a capsuleer,” Vel motioned at Abby, “getting all worked up about them.”

“Oh please, like hearing a name is going to incite a riot.”

“If you wish to start the Caldari/Gallente war again, you only need say two names to the right groups of people,” Vel stated matter-of-factly.

“Okay okay...but the hive, and their leader won't do that. Hell, the worst that could happen is that people start spreading rumors of another, nearby attack. Which, yeah I could get in trouble for, but people aren't going to flee the station. You all will sit in here nice and cozy unless a 'Mom' shows up-”

“Oh good lord! Have you no tact, woman!?”

“Veliander Caroose, love ya and all, but even for a politically correct fool as yourself, you've got an extra-rigid stick up your ass today. What's bothering you?”

“L-love? Wait, no, not the point. The 'stick up my ass' is that...well, I don't know. You just don't seem to care about what anyone thinks of you. You daydream all day, speak out of turn, speak about things that you really shouldn't, considering you basically work for the State, and if you get caught speaking like that...there will be dire consequences. And just think what will happen to me if I'm near you when that happens!”

“You'd probably lose your chance with the Caldari ambassadorship, but I would expect the Matari would love you,” Abby stuck her tongue out at Vel just to make sure he knew she was joking.

Abby awoke to the blaring alarms within the station and the garbled station comms yelling something monotone at the inhabitants. Abby wasn't too worried. The mortals had the safety of the station, and she was immortal, practically. So everyone SHOULD be safe from it, whatever 'it' was. After clearing her mind and waking up a little more, Abby heard the announcement much more clearly.

“Attention, attention. An artificial wormhole has been reported in the Region.”

“Well...FUCK,” Abby exclaimed as her doorbell sounded under the din of the announcement. “Well, c'mon in, this can't get any worse of a morning.”

“Abby,” Vel's voice was weak and full of fear, “Abby where are you?”

“On the couch, come sit here next to me!”

Vel entered from the front hall by the door and planted himself between Abby, on the couch, and the holographic screens on the wall. “How can you just sit there so calm? There are Sansha in the region! God, what am I going to do?!”

“Vel, a couple of things. One, you have never been religious, so don't ask 'God', he'll never answer. Two, you need to calm your shit, or explain to me why you're a nervous wreck all of a sudden. They aren't in this system so even if they attacked stations, we'd be okay.”

“They're reportedly in my home system! I know my family are all in stations, but...if I ever lost my sister, I don't know what I'd do. How do you cope so well? Would have thought you would be one to go defend...why aren't you?!”

“Alright, now you're just being an ass. Cope?! Who the fuck can cope with family just up and disappearing, eh? You don't...and I never will. And as you already fucking know, my hangar is locked off from me because I'm not licensed. I would love to go out there, shoot any and all Sansha I can find, but I can't. So I shall sit here, brood on this fact, and rely on the other capsuleers to do the right thing.”

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