Thursday, 2 December 2010

Life on Hold

Kayleigh lay draped over Nakatre, wide awake despite the late hour. She lay listening to her wife’s heart beating a regular, soothing rhythm. She couldn’t sleep. Not with her mind working overtime.

It had been seven months since the last of them had been evacuated from J170132, and Kay had warped away one final time from the shimmering wormhole connecting the uncharted system to known space. The eviction Sphere had suffered had been a bigger blow than she had given it credit for at the time. Morale had been low, yes, but she had thought they would soon recover with other projects.

They hadn’t.

Pilots scattered around known space licking their wounds and then little by little began to fade from space. Corporation comms grew increasingly quiet.

After six months or so of living in near isolation up in J170132, with its ever-silent local comms and rare enough sighting of visitors, Kay had found the transition back to bustling Federation space rather jarring. Perhaps that was what had happened to the other Sphere pilots as well.

In the end, the noisy traffic of empire living had been too much to bear and she had joined Nakatre out in low-sec, where at least things were quiet and calm enough to bear.

For a while she had healed by simply spending quality time with her wife, but her continued presence living among Stillwater had started to gnaw at her conscience. It was one thing to accept out of love Nakatre’s choice of lifestyle, and quite another to live among her corp as if she actually approved of it.

The two months spent planetside catching some sun and fresh air had done wonders for her, but had set her mind working again, realising it was about time she stopped wallowing in self-pity and guilt for the events in J170132. She had returned refreshed and ready to get something going in Sphere… only to find that in her absence the corporation had left Nox Draconum alliance and was in the process of downsizing. All her colleagues were transferring to another corporation to try their luck out in null-sec.

Considering how long it had taken her and Sphere to recover from the J170132 setback, the jin-mei wasn’t quite sure setting her heart on holding sovereignty somewhere out where big alliance wars happened on the news was such a good idea at this point in time.

That is what was keeping her up at night: what to do now with her career? She couldn’t just keep living off the small fortune she had amassed (“small” by capsuleer standards only, of course) waiting for Nakatre to come home after a day’s work.

She had narrowed her options down to three. Rejoin the alliance she had helped to start by applying perhaps to Endless Night, where she might fly side by side with Loras and Gareth once again and help Nox thrive, but that would be going back to what she had already done before and which had brought her to this very crossroads. She could also join her previous Sphere colleagues out in lawless space and perhaps write a couple of lines in history books, or just end up losing everything like in J170132. And finally… she could just do something she had never done before, take a stand for a cause, join a bustling corporation, fly with old friends.

And then she realised she ought to discuss her options with Nakatre anyway instead of just letting her mind run in circles and lose sleep over it. Her wife had a capacity for seeing clear through the fog and going straight to the point as it was. Kay blushed, chastising herself in her mind for not thinking of that before. Careful to not wake the sleeping figure, the jin-mei placed a tender kiss on warm skin, then closed her eyes to sleep.

We’ll talk in the morning, love.

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