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Another day, another village..

Everywhere I turn trouble abounds. Plague, daedra, war. I can’t think of the last village that had nothing wrong and were just happy to see a traveller.

Vos, outskirts

Vos was looking no different. An Argonian on the road approaching town told me of how one magister was ill and another was a tyrant.

“Mondas, you old fool..”

Stormhold was a familiar site as I rode into town. The swamp had neither consumed the meager docks nor allowed them to expand beyond their limited numbers. The townsfolk walked by on their way to push back enough swamp to keep the vines from overtaking the village walls yet not far enough to encourage more people to take resident.

I think that’s why I liked it here. Not enough shelter to allow for complacence or comfort. When the rains came, you could seek shelter in the Inn, drown your misery while the skies tried to drown the village. Or you could suffer through the deluge.

a brief prayer to Meridia for good health

But when the rains clear you’re often greeted by the gentle glow of sunlight cutting through swampy gloom.

A gentle cough rolled into heavy wracking. “Mondas, you old fool.. this swamp will be the death of you..” I chided myself.

“Hostiles inbound..”

Gliese 452.3 – Fragile Thunder
Teamed with Rakanoez we dove into the fray with abandon and a hunger known to anti-pirate mercenaries like ourselves. Not for the money, no.. we had a more basal inclination. “Red is Dead” as they say.

We engaged targets in the waves they arrived in, some packing serious danger that between the two of us was quite manageable. Some arrived in scattered wings that were picked apart like common belt rats.

It was on the third sortie that we encountered serious danger and sufficient numbers arrived with sufficient intent. Seems someone in the enemy command structure decided two Pythons were getting the better of them and upped the ante. “13 targets, are we engaging?”
I nodded, mostly to myself “Pull them away from the tanker if you can.”

They had other plans, multiple hostiles lit my radar, angry blinking ensued as laser and cannon fire pelted my shields. It wasn’t long, the Fragile Thunder can’t normally sustain fire of that intensity, and my armor started to peel away from the focus.

I evaded but the damage was done, I limped to range to let power restore some semblance of a protective bubble. But the transport was in danger and I bit at the chance to win this.

I bit too hard, too long. As I dove into their number trying to thin the swarm they fought back. For every laser on my ship I was met by three more. Before I could regret my choice integrity failed and I was left in a smoldering hulk for rescue services to pick up.

“You might be dying..”

Which in and of itself was a curious thing to say. But we had been talking about my Kheldian and how little it spoke to me.

I continue to think about those words. I dwell on the idea daily, nights are lost in contemplation. I don’t know when I slept last, or when I ate. I know it’s been months since I was bonded.

She called it Synchronization. That I wasn’t in sync.

Meanwhile the Saints of Liberty welcomed me to their halls. I was rapidly promoted for my actions, words of encouragement and the leadership I could provide. This garrison would be my new family.

I wouldn’t think anything of it but some kind of battle fugue had begun to take hold. More than once I found myself with strong memories where none were before. Of armor so thick I could resist the pull of dwarf stars. So robust I could shrug off rockets.

Am I dying.. or something else.

Adrift

Generation Ships Venusian

Met up with some other commanders in the squadron. It was a quiet night and they were investigating one of the many derelict Generation Ships floating about in space.

This was Venusian, abandoned after an unfortunate encounter with pirates. A problem you’d think nobody would expect, when embarking on a mission to found a colony so many years from home. I certainly wouldn’t expect it.

But then, nobody said space was safe.. or friendly.

Growth

It requires sacrifice, I read somewhere. You have to give up something for growth.

X-N248 – Silent Oracle

I put aside the Relentless Augur, my Python, in favor of the sleek and nimble Krait MK 2. The python has served me well and while I find her cockpit appropriately spacious I find my needs drifting after something nimble. The contours on the Krait aren’t anything to write home about. Much has been said about it’s ‘upside down’ style and I don’t have a pressing need for it’s Fight Bay. But I do find it’s top speed a precious commodity and it’s canopy welcoming in the depths of space.

I took a Krait to the Heart and Soul nebula. I took one to the Guardian satellite. And yet I struggle with giving up the Python. Sometimes I feel like I just just rip off the bandage. I keep my Python because losing it means giving up my Inara registration though I could easily never fly one ever again.

Betrayal

It took several months, while the Kheldian was sleeping and recovering, to hone my understanding of the power available to me. I learned a thing or two and had become quite comfortable in my new life.

Silly Warwolf. I’m not the Kheldian you’re looking for.

It was while throwing down with some Council Warwolves that a stray Quantum blast buzzed past my head. Not the first but the first to elicit a reaction and something stirred in me. I was angry.

In a fit of unhealthy fury I blasted that soldier until my arms ached from the exertion. Oblivious to his friends who fought in vain to stop me I projected light-blasts across the room and maintained the barrage until I was sated.

This wasn’t the first time I had encountered a hunter out for just me, packing special tools and their mysterious ‘Quantum Cannons’. In fact most of them had little effect on me mentally or otherwise.

No, this was new. Something had awoken. The mere thought of the gunner stoked the fire of hatred. A single thought fanned the flames: Betrayal.

As almost an afterthought I noticed my customary blue glow had turned a lovely shade of sunset.

Out of Sanity and into the Shard

Venturing into the Shadow Shard is not for the faint of heart. The distances are vast, the terrain inhospitable and tricky to navigate. I find it incredibly interesting, the fragments of earth floating.

And then there was the floating fortress, deep in the ‘Shard. Assaulted by Rularuu for Rularuu against Rularuu..

..I’ll explain later.