YC109.09.23 // The Hard Way

[date/YC109/09/23_return.log]

“The capsuleer program is not an easy road, Adainy. Many attempt and very few actually ever succeed.”

I nodded.

“And you know that once one becomes a capsuleer…” he hesitated. I met his gaze. “Adainy, there’s no going back.”

Another nod. “I know.”

It was quiet for a moment. The ventilation in the room kicked on, letting out a slight creak. I rubbed the scar by my right eye. The slight paralysis that affected the muscles near my temple was acting up again.

“How are your piloting skills?” he asked, breaking the silence.

It was a loaded question. None of the empires would let any regular soldier join, let alone one whose piloting was limited to shuttles and civilian craft. I didn’t respond. There was no need to.

“You could complete the Federation Navy Reconnaissance program. Extremely dangerous, but they teach basic frigate skills, along with tactical fighter piloting with carriers.”

It was an option. I was hardly the most competent and skilled soldier, but I had shown an innate ability to not die. I thoroughly surprised those higher in the chain of command after being sucked into the vacuum of space following a debilitating attack by Amarr extremists on the Minmatar tower where I had been stationed.

“Would you write me a letter of recommendation, Barle?” I asked.

“For the FNR?” He looked puzzled.

“No, for an application to the Federal Navy Academy,” I corrected him. “For capsuleer training.”

He raised his eyebrows, and let out a huff. “Provided you complete the Federation Navy Reconnaissance program – and live trough any subsequent missions or sorties – yes.”

A terse response. He furrowed his brow, shifting some papers on his desk, then looked up at me.

“Adainy, if you do complete the program,” he paused, mulling his thoughts around, ” – well, I can’t make any promises, but I’m sure we could find a way to declare the recommendation to be from the whole of the Servant Sisters of EVE, not just one of their contracted agents.”

I smiled a short smile. That was enough for me. “And my debt with the Servant Sisters?”

“You know there was never a debt to begin with, Adainy.”

I sighed. Barle lifted a glass off his desk and stood up, gazing out his window at the planet below. He took a sip of his drink.

“Moral obligations – there’s something you won’t have to deal with when you’re a capsuleer.”

[date/YC109/09/23_end.log]

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