Thursday, 13 January 2011

The High Cost Of Living

The last of the armour cladding the Celestis Electronic Warfare Cruiser gave out with a crack that echoed throughout the hull, followed immediately a long, rolling, groan as the structure itself started to absorb punishment. The pilot, Laria Raven, in her capsule, abandoned her attempts to align the ship for warpout, and triggered the evacuation procedures. As the systems of the Celestis wailed a requiem, Laria's pod ejected. She watched the teardrop escape boats peel away from the disintegrating cruiser... one... two... the final one detached and the pilot released the breath she'd been holding. That exhalation was stopped as a stray missile, from friend or foe, she couldn't tell, slammed into the final boat, destroying it in an instant. Laria let out something halfway between a shout and a scream...

And woke up, covered in sweat, in her bunk, in her quarters, tucked safely into the side of the University section at the Pator Technical School in Aldrat. Third night. This one had hit her worse than the other losses, perhaps because the Celestis crew had been with her for a while. There were some pilots who ignored their crew entirely, pretended they didn't exist. There were others who seemed to take the loss of them with less concern than they did the loss of the isk needed to replace the ship. There were times Laria envied them.

But she couldn't be like that. Couldn't ignore the people she worked in such proximity to. She didn't socialise, but she knew them. Knew their names, their faces. They knew her. In the main, she'd noticed, they seemed to regard her as existing halfway between a goddess and a mascot. At the moment, she didn't feel much like either. Just very alone and a long way from home. She slipped out from under the sheet, and walked over to the console, bringing up the latest document. If sleep was denied her, then there were other things to do.

Dear Ms. Hilfwin. It is with deep regret that I write to tell you of the death of your son, Amuld, lost when the escape boat he was on board was destroyed during action against criminals in the Hagilur system. Amuld had served with me with distinction for four months, and will be sadly missed both by me and his fellow crewmates, with whom he was both popular and liked.


There is little that I can say to compensate you for his loss, other than that he was doing something that both he and I believed was necessary and for the good of the Minmatar people and humanity in general.


With sympathy,


Pilot Laria Raven.

80% of it was doing what was necessary. 20% of it, given that she was in the university, was training. Training her. 20% of fifty deaths. Ten human beings died for her training.

Too many.

She'd learnt a lot. An awful lot. And it was not time wasted. But to go on learning. Training. That /would/ be time wasted. And lives wasted.

Time to move on, then. Time to find something that would be 100% needed and wanted and necessary.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely written and an interesting look at the Capsuleer's relationship with their crew. You see, if you were Amarr none of that would matter. In fact I got a slave to write this for me...

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